Lionel Messi has been banned from playing international matches for Argentina for three months after claiming the Copa America was 'corrupt'.
He will miss Argentina's friendlies against Chile, Mexico and Germany in September and October.The South American Football Confederation, Conmebol, has also fined the 32-year-old $50,000 (£41,121) for his comments. Messi was sent off for only the second time in his career after pushing Chile midfielder Gary Medel, who was also shown a red card. "We don't have to be part of this corruption," Messi said. "Sadly, the corruption, the referees, they don't allow people to enjoy football, they ruined it a bit," he added. Messi has seven days to appeal Conmebol's decision.
Messi was angered by two incidents during the June-July Copa hosted by bitter rivals Brazil.The 32-year-old hit out at the officials after the 2-0 loss, claiming they didn’t use video technology on fouls against Argentina because they were ‘in favour’ of Brazil. Messi did not attend the medal ceremony in protest. ‘The truth is we’re angry because we played very well, we put in a huge effort and for it to end like this makes us sad,’ he sustained.