Lionel Messi has been banned for four international matches by FIFA for verbally abusing an assistant referee during Argentina’s win over Chile.
The Barcelona forward has been handed a four-game punishment and won’t be allowed to play against Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela – all because of a sweary altercation with a match official.
The game will be played at Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz, and will tough enough as it is due to the breathtaking altitude. It is a retrospective punishment for insulting Brazilian assistant ref Dewson Silva during Argentina’s 1-0 win over Chile last week.
Messi was caught on camera referring to the “the c*** of [Silva’s] mother” after a decision was given against him. Match referee Sandro Ricci didn’t see or hear the incident and so the retrospective punishment was permissible.