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Lionel Messi facing ban after 'hurling abuse at officials', indicate reports

Anirudh Menon
9.66K   //    26 Mar 2017, 18:10 IST

What’s the Story?

Lionel Messi has been reported by the referee of the Argentina vs Chile World Cup Qualifier, allegedly for ‘hurling abuse’ at one of the assistant referees. 

The Argentine captain was clearly not happy with the officiating and remonstrated vocally with the referees on more than one occasion. This has apparently made its way into the referee’s report of the match, and now FIFA would be forced to take action on the captain. 

In case you didn’t know

The Barcelona superstar was at the end of many a thudding challenge from the Chileans as they tried to recreate what they had done in the two previous Copa America finals and physically bully the little magician off his game. It didn’t work this time, and he was brilliant – especially in comparison to his utterly lacklustre teammates in attack. 

Read, Also –  FIFA World Cup Qualifying: Argentina 1 - 0 Chile: 5 Talking Points

The heart of the matter

During the game, Messi was caught on camera hurling abuse at officials Marcelo Vangasse and Dewson Silva. If FIFA takes action accordingly as per the referee’s report, then Messi will be facing a ban that can range in severity

What Next?

It will all depend on the referee’s report and the severity of his objection to Messi’s comments. If this is prominently mentioned in the report, then FIFA will have no choice but to enforce a ban. It was the Argentine radio station radio la red that reported that the comments have made it to the report, while Fox Sports Argentina claim that they have not. This means the referee will be the centre of attention over the next couple of days. 

Author’s Take

If in fact Lionel Messi was guilty of abusing the referees or any of the FIFA match officials, there should be no leniency in treatment from the governing body and he should face the appropriate punishment. In case that happens, it could prove extremely costly for Argentina. 

Although third in the qualification table for South America, the competition is extremely tight and any slip up could prove the last. Argentina have been in utterly dire form – and it’s only Leo Messi’s brilliance that has kept them propped up throughout the tournament. Sure, Edgardo Bauzo may insist they are not dependent on the captain, but the team’s performances on the pitch have proved otherwise. 

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Anirudh Menon
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