Copa America 2019: 'The referee wanted to be more important than the match itself'- Arturo Vidal comes out in support of Lionel Messi
What's the story?
In case you didn't know
Argentina and Chile faced each other in the third-place play-off in the Copa America where the Albiceleste emerged as eventual winners. Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala scored one each and Vidal was the lone scorer for Chile as Lionel Scaloni's side secured a third-place finish at the tournament.
But one of the incidents of the game grabbed all the headlines where both Messi and Chile's Gary Medel were given their marching orders following a stand-off. An altercation took place between the two captains in the 37th minute of the game, where Medel was seen aggressively pushing Messi with his head and shoulders after the Argentine wizard's light nudge.
Messi, who previously expressed his disgust regarding the officials, secured an assist during his 36 minutes on the pitch.
The heart of the matter
Both Messi and Medel slammed the poor refereeing in the ongoing tournament in their post-match conference. Messi's Barcelona teammate, Vidal, also voiced his frustration and has claimed that Argentina were hard done by against the host nation in the semi-final.
Speaking in an interview, Vidal said:
"I believe Argentina were hard done by against Brazil. It was unfair. The same thing happened to us when they sent us to a hotel which was two hours away from Colombia's stadium."
"The referee wanted to be more important than the match itself. How are you going to send off two captains for pushing each other a little? It was clearly a heat of the moment thing. No one raised their arms to the other's face. It was nothing serious. Two people going chest to chest can't be a red card."
"Argentina were clearly hard done by against Brazil. VAR is managed in another way in Europe. In South America, they still need to learn (to use it better)."
Brazil and Peru will face each other in the final of the Copa America 2019.