- Ban comes few minutes before Argentina vs Bolivia encounter;
- Messi presumably talked rashly against linesman in Argentina vs Chile encounter;
- Argentina won Chile match by a lone goal;
- Argentina at brink of missing out 2018 Russia World Cup after losing to Bolivia;
- Country’s to appeal FIFA ban on Messi;
FIFA issue four-match ban against Lionel Messi
The football governing body, FIFA, has issued a four-match ban against Lionel Messi, the Barcelona star, after FIFA received complaint about Messi’s actions during Argentina’s World Cup qualifying match against rival Chile on 23 March.
The ban which was announced late Tuesday shelved the four time world best in his country clash against Bolivia. Argentina went is on the brink of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after the country lost to Bolivia and are now fifth on their group.
Messi who scored the winning goal for Argentina against Chile was reportedly to have talked rashly against the linesman during their clash with Chile.
Angered Messi reportedly criticized the linesman, Emerson Carvalho, for fouling him when he engaged a Chilean player late in the game. The Barca star waved his hands and was caught pointing at the linesman as profane language followed.
At the end of the match, the Barcelona star sidelined Carvalho in a handshake, who presumably must have caused the encounter on the field of play.
Initially, the match referee, Sandro Ricci, did not mention the incident in his match report but later extended his report to include Messi’s insults towards his assistant.
Following the FIFA suspension, Messi will not play for Argentina when they encounter Uruguay away on 31 August, neither Venezuela at home on 5 September nor Peru at home on 5 October. But Messi will play for Argentina in the final qualifying game away to Ecuador on 10 October.
Argentina’s national team secretary Jorge Miadosqui told reporters: “We’re surprised at the decision that has been taken. We’re very unhappy with the way it has been handled, with just hours to go before playing against Bolivia.”
“We’re going to appeal. There is sufficient precedent to believe we can have the ban reduced.”
Miadosqui described the ban a great blow against Argentina,
“They have cut the legs of Messi and the Argentine national team,” he said.
“We are going to appeal,” said Armando Perez, president of the Argentine FA’s interim board.
He acknowledged that Messi “made a mistake by insulting” the linesman, but argued that FIFA’s sanction was disproportionate.
“This is more political than anything else,” he said.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee – in application of articles 77 a) and 108 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) – has reached a decision in relation to the case of Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi following an incident that occurred during the match between Argentina and Chile on 23 March 2017 as part of the qualifying competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™:
Footballer Lionel Messi has been found guilty of violating art. 57 of the FDC for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee.
As a result, Lionel Messi will be suspended for four official matches and sanctioned with a fine of CHF 10,000. The first match for which the sanction will apply is the next fixture in the preliminary competition of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ between Bolivia and Argentina, which will be played today, 28 March. The remainder of the sanction will be served over Argentina’s subsequent FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.
This decision is in line with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s previous rulings in similar cases.
Both the player and the Argentinian Football Association have been informed of the decision today.