Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will miss Argentina’s first match in South America’s qualifying series for the 2022 World Cup after he was handed a one match ban by CONMEBOL for his red card in La Albisceleste’s Copa America clash against Chile.
Messi was sent off in Argentina’s third place clash against the La Roja after he was involved in a spat with Gary Medel. His sending-off comes after he launched an attack on South America’s football governing body, accusing them of corruption following Argentina’s semi-final loss to Brazil.
‘There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil. ‘I did not want to be part of this corruption, we shouldn’t have to be part of this disrespect we suffered during the Copa America.” He told reporters.
The 32-year-old accused Conmebol of setting up the tournament for a Brazil win. He reiterated his comments after the third-place match, calling the organization corrupt and refused to attend the medal presentation.
‘We could have gone further but we weren’t allowed into the final. Corruption, referees and all the rest stopped people from enjoying the football. ‘I always tell the truth and I’m honest, that is what keeps me calm if what I say has repercussions that is not my business.’
CONMEBOL rebuffed Messi’s claim but failed to impose any sanction on the Argentine. However, he will serve a one match ban and has been fined £1,200 for his dismissal in the third-place match against Chile.