July 24 – Lionel Messi has been banned from Argentina’s first qualifying match for the 2022 World Cup and fined $1,500 by Conmebol after being sent off against Chile in the Copa America third-place playoff.
Messi was red carded in the 37th minute after clashing with Chile’s Gary Medel, who was also dismissed.
Afterwards Messi alleged that the tournament had been fixed in favour of the hosts Brazil, who beat Argentina in a controversial semi-final on their way to claiming the title.
Having described Conembol as “corrupt” he did not attend the ceremony to pick up his third-place winners’ medal.
Conmebol said on Tuesday that Messi’s comments were “unacceptable” but backed down from imposing a tougher sanction on the five-time world player of the year.
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