FIFA Hands Lionel Messi Four-match Ban


Lionel Messi has been banned for four international matches by FIFA after ruling that the Argentina forward verbally abused a match official in a World Cup qualifying game against Chile last week.
The Barcelona star was also fined 10,000 Swiss Francs (£8,100) for “having directed insulting words” at the official.
He will miss four of Argentina’s remaining five World Cup qualifiers, including yesterday’s match against Bolivia. He can return for Argentina’s final qualifier, away to Ecuador on Oct. 10.
The Argentina federation have said they will appeal the ban.
FIFA said Messi was guilty of “having directed insulting words at an assistant referee” and added: “This decision is in line with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s previous rulings in similar cases.”
Football’s world governing body intervened after the incident was not initially reported by Brazilian referee Sandro Ricci after Argentina beat Chile 1-0 in Buenos Aires on Thursday. Messi scored the only goal from a first-half penalty.
Television pictures showed Messi reacting angrily late in the game when assistant referee Emerson Carvalho flagged him for fouling an opponent. He waved his arms and shouted profane insults at the assistant. After the game, Messi refused to shake hands with Carvalho.
A statement from FIFA said: “Footballer Lionel Messi has been found guilty of violating art: 57 of the FDC (FIFA disciplinary code) for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee.”
“As a result, Lionel Messi will be suspended for four official matches and sanctioned with a fine of CHF 10,000.”
It added that the suspension was “in line with the FIFA disciplinary committee’s previous rulings in similar cases”.
Source: News


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