What's the story?
Days after the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) handed out a fine and a single-game ban to Lionel Messi for his antics in the Copa America, reports have now emerged that the organisation is considering an extension of the ban.
In case you didn't know...
Earlier this week, Messi was hit with a one-match suspension and a $1,500 fine for his behaviour in the recently-concluded Copa America, which included a controversial red card and a series of bold corruption claims.
The 32-year-old initially claimed that the match officials during Argentina's semi-final clash with Brazil had made decisions that favoured the hosts throughout the game, leading to the Albiceleste's eventual defeat. The allegations came after Sergio Aguero was denied a penalty following a challenge against him in the penalty area.
This was followed by an outburst after a highly intense playoff that saw Argentina secure third place by defeating Chile. Messi was controversially shown the marching orders in the first half of the clash following an altercation with Chilean skipper Gary Medel and decided to boycott the medal ceremony after the game.
Speaking to reporters after the final whistle, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner went on an angry tirade, accusing the CONMEBOL of setting up this year's Copa America for the Selecao to win.
The heart of the matter
The extended suspension, which is said to stem out of the Argentine's corruption claims, could be anywhere from sixty days to six months.
With Messi's punishments having already been announced a few days ago, it is best to take the reports with a pinch of salt at the moment.
Barcelona are currently playing a series of friendlies in preparation for the upcoming season and are next scheduled to face Vissel Kobe on Saturday.Published 26 Jul 2019, 11:00 IST