Huge news is coming in from Argentina as Lionel Messi has been banned from FOUR Argentina matches starting from tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia. (Lionel Messi has been banned for FOUR Argentina games!)
Widely considered as the best player in the world, Lionel Messi has been charged for an apparent verbal assault on the referee after Argentina’s 1-0 win over Chile on Thursday.
“Lionel Messi has been found guilty of violating art. 57 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee,” FIFA wrote in a statement this afternoon ahead of the Bolivia game.
This means that Argentina will not have their captain for a majority of their crucial World Cup qualifiers starting with the match against Bolivia. (Lionel Messi has been banned for FOUR Argentina games!)
The severity of the punishment is surprising as a four match ban is usually reserved for repeat offenders or for players who have physically assaulted another player.
Even without Messi, Argentina has a strong offensive unit boasting the likes of Gonzalo Hiugain, Sergio Ageuro, Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria to name a few.
But any team without Messi is quite simply a weaker team and it might complicate what has already been a difficult qualifying campaign for Argentina. (Lionel Messi has been banned for FOUR Argentina games!)
They lost their first three matches and big players such as Messi, Di Maria and Mascherano had threatened to quit the team in protest. The players were also unhappy at the way the Argentina Federation was handling the state of affairs in the country.
But just as things started to get better for the team, this news will jolt the dressing room and the entire nation as a whole.
The Argentina Federation is expected to appeal the ban.