Lionel Messi Banned for Four International Matches

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee issued a statement today regarding an incident involving Lionel Messi in a match against Chile, and have decided to suspend the player for up to four games. The ban will come into effect starting with this evening’s away trip to Bolivia and will keep the Argentine captain from getting involved in the upcoming qualifiers against Uruguay, Venezuela, and Peru.

The 29-year-old let out his frustration at the two assistant referees Marcelo Vangasse and Dewson Silva in Buenos Aires after some of the decisions failed to go his way. He reportedly said, “F*ck you & your mother’s c*nt,” to one of them during the match. He also confronted them after the final whistle, and had to be held back by teammate Sergio Aguero.

FIFA announced that Messi is found guilty of violating art. 57 of the FDC for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee, which results in suspension of four official matches and a fine of CHF 10,000 — roughly translating to $10,148.00. This will come as a devastating news to both Argentinean Football Association and their captain, who traveled to Bolivia with the rest of the squad to take part in today’s action.

Argentina had been struggling in the World Cup qualifiers and might be in danger of missing out on the tournament. Messi’s winner against Chile lifted them all the way to the third spot behind Brazil and Uruguay. However, they remain only two points ahead of the sixth place Chile and have a massive pressure to get positive results in upcoming fixtures. Without their superstar, things have gotten a lot tougher for La Albiceleste.