What’s the story?
Lionel Messi could see himself being banned for 2 years by the CONMEBOL after accusing the organizers and referees at the Copa America of corruption post-Argentina's 2-1 victory over Chile in their third-place playoff.
La Pulga believes that the red card he received against Chile was just because of his outburst after the Brazil game.
In case you didn’t know…
Messi was not a happy man as he saw his side crash out against Brazil in the semifinals and believed it was all down to the refereeing that cost his side a place in the finals. The Barcelona ace did not accept his third-place medal as well, citing he did not wish to be a part of the corruption.
The heart of the matter
If reports coming out of South America are to believed, Messi's comments after the third-place match in the Copa America could see him banned from international football for 2 years. The ban would see him miss not just the qualification for World Cup Qatar 2022, but also the 2020 Copa America in Argentina and Colombia.
Messi after the third-placed match against Chile said:
"We don't need to be part of the corruption that we've suffered at this tournament."
"Hopefully the referees and the VAR won't influence things and they let Peru compete, but I think that's unlikely."
Messi even went on to claim that the whole tournament is set up for Brazil to win but hitting back at his claims, the CONMEBOL responded by saying,
“Said accusations represent a lack of respect for the competition, all the football players involved and the hundreds of professionals of CONMEBOL, institution that since 2016 has been tirelessly working to transparent, professionalize and develop South American football."
It remains to be seen as to how severe the punishment will be for Messi but going by CONMEBOL'S statement, we can expect a stringent punishment being handed out to the Argentine ace.