Madrid: Lionel Messi’s incredible outburst against CONMEBOL after his team’s win against Chile for the third place play-off at the Copa America game may see him banned for two years according to a section of the media here.
Messi was left fuming at the CONMEBOL organisation and refused to collect his third place medal after accusing the referee of favouring Brazil in their semi-final loss. The Barcelona star was vocal about the referee’s influence on the match which Brazil won 2-0.
The Copa America is set up for Brazil. Hopefully the referees and the VAR won’t influence things and they let Peru compete, but I think that’s unlikely,” he claimed.
Messi went on to allege ‘corruption’ was getting in the way of the tournament. “There was lack of respect toward us during this Copa América,” he had then said.
“We could have done better, but they didn’t let us make it to the final. Corruption and the referees are not letting the fans enjoy football. This is ruining football,” Messi added.
When asked if he feared being suspended for his comments, Messi said ‘the truth needed to be told’.
Spanish website ‘AS’ has said if CONMEBOL decides to adopt disciplinary measures, Messi can be banned for two years for his comments. The report suggests any comments criticising the governing body or its personnel can carry the lengthy ban.
If CONMEBOL takes action, Messi could potentially miss qualification games for the Qatar World Cup and Copa America to be played in 2020 at Argentina and Colombia.