Lionel Messi: Barca star fined, banned for Copa America red card against Chile

Lionel Messi: Barca star fined, banned for Copa America red card against Chile

- Messi accused CONMEBOL of corruption after Argentina's defeat to Brazil in the semis of Copa America

- The comments have earned the five-time Ballon d'Or winner a $1,500 fine

- The Barcelona skipper will also serve a one-match ban following his red card against Chile

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Argentina superstar Lionel Messi has been slapped with a $1,500 fine after suggesting this summer's Copa America was rigged in favour of hosts Brazil.

Messi will further serve a one-match suspension for a red-card he picked against Chile in the competition’s third-place match.

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The Barca star was sent off after clashing with Gary Medel, before launching a scathing attack on the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).

The striker alleged the tournament was fixed in favour of the hosts Brazil, who beat Argentina controversially in the semis on their way to winning the title.

"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," Messi was quoted saying.

"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," he added.

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In a statement by released by CONMEBOL on Tuesday, July 23, the body termed Messi’s comments as “unacceptable” but backed down from imposing a tougher sanction.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's one match ban is expected to be served in Argentina’s first qualifier for the 2022 World Cup.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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