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FIFA hands Lionel Messi 4-Match Ban for Verbally Abusing Referee



Lionel Messi has been handed a four-match international suspension by FIFA after the Argentina captain was found guilty of abusing a referee verbally in a World Cup qualifying match against Chile last week.

The suspension was confirmed just five hours before Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia yesterday, a match the La Albiceleste lost 2-0.

FIFA, the world football governing body, said on Tuesday that Messi was banned for “directing insulting words at an assistant referee” during Argentina’s 1-0 win over Chile on Friday.

FIFA said after the game in La Paz, the “remainder of the sanction will be served over Argentina’s subsequent World Cup qualifying matches”.

Messi, who scored the only goal in the qualifier, was angered when he was flagged for a foul, waving and shouting at the assistant in response.

The 29-year-old FC Barcelona player was also fined 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,160) by FIFA’s disciplinary panel.

Argentina is third in South American qualifying, with the top four teams advancing to next summer’s finals in Russia.

There are five matches still to play in the qualifiers.



  1. Anon

    March 29, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    The same old “hijo de puta.” Footballers’ favourite abuse.

    It’s time for the rest to step up – Higuain, Di Maria, Aguero, Dybala, Lavezzi, Mascerano, Rojo, Pastore, Romero…

    • A Real Nigerian

      March 29, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      The first 3 people you mentioned need to be dropped from that squad.

      Especially Higuain and Aguero, they are absolutely atrocious in the NT.

    • Anon

      March 29, 2017 at 2:59 pm

      Strange, because Higuain is doing well at Juve. Teams up nicely with Dybala.
      Aguero, yes. Pep has sort of killed his spirit and it is affecting his form for his country.
      Di Maria is still good, IMO.

      However, form is temporary and class in permanent. Teams always need their experienced players. They help blend in the young ‘uns.

      Getting a good result in Bolivia is always tricky for visiting teams. High altitude advantage.

      They are there, Brazil has breezed through to Russia 2018.

      BTW – good afternoon and have a great day!

  2. A Real Nigerian

    March 29, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    “Argentina is third in South American qualifying”
    5th, not 3rd.

    “with the top four teams advancing to next summer’s finals in Russia”
    Advancing automatically you mean.

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