Lionel Messi banned after his critics at Copa America

Argentina superstar Lionel Messi

Messi receives three-month ban for his rant against Conmebol

So, here we were are with the final decision from the South American authorities and now the time is ticking for Messi to potentially appeal the verdict within the next seven days.

Football body CONMEBOL suspended Lionel Messi from worldwide matches with Argentina for three months because of accusations of corruption he made at the latest Copa América.

Messi will miss a trio of friendlies during his suspension including games against Chile in Los Angeles on September 5 and Mexico in San Antonio on September 10.

It had seemed that the one-game suspension for the red would be all Messi was given, though CONMEBOL did release a statement describing his comments as "unacceptable" and representing "a lack of respect".

According to Mirror (UK), the punishment is as a result of Messi's comment accusing CONMEBOL of corruption.

The Barcelona and Argentina captain said his side had suffered "corruption" at the tournament in Brazil after being sent off in a third-place playoff.

The only saving grace is that Argentina's qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup doesn't begin until March of next year, at which point Messi will be free from the sanctioning. Messi also said the competition was "set up" for eventual champions Brazil to win.

Interestingly, Messi refused to collect his bronze medal after the game and blasted CONMEBOL for his first red card, since being sent off on his debut game for Argentina back in 2005.

Asked if he feared being suspended for his comments, he said "the truth needed to be told".

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

Latest News