Argentina star Lionel Messi banned for three months after corruption claim

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi

The 32-year-old Barcelona forward had accused Conmebol of "corruption" after he was sent off against Chile during the third-place play-off during the tournament in Brazil, which ended last month.

"I felt we had been robbed, that we deserved to be in the final and we do not have to be part of this show", Messi said upon refusing to participate in the Copa America medal ceremony. "They have shown us a lack of respect throughout this tournament". Corruption, referees and all the rest stopped people from enjoying the football. Messi also said the competition was "set up" for eventual champions Brazil to win.

The latest ban will see Messi miss out of Argentina matches until November, meaning the playmaker will play no role in worldwide matches against Chile and Mexico in September and Germany in October, alongside one Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier.

Argentina's soccer star Lionel Messi has been handed a 3-month ban from worldwide football after he accused the Copa America organizers of corruption.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi gestures to a tea mate.

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Messi has seven days to appeal the decision, reports Xinhua news agency.

After Argentina's 2-0 semi-final defeat by hosts Brazil, the Argentine Football Association had complained about "serious and gross refereeing errors".

CONMEBOL insists Messi's claims were "unacceptable".

He has also been fined $50,000 by CONMEBOL and will miss Argentina's friendly encounters vs Chile, Mexico and Germany.

It is this red card, the second of his career, which deprives him of the first match of the qualifiers at the World Cup scheduled in Qatar in 2022.

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