Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is reportedly facing a two-year ban from international football for comments made after his country’s Copa America meeting with Chile.
The 32-year-old was sent off in Saturday’s third-place playoff match in Sao Paulo after a coming together with Gary Medel.
Messi was unhappy with the decision and alleged that the tournament officials heavily favoured hosts Brazil, who beat Argentina in the semi-finals en route to lifting the trophy.
“There is no doubt the whole thing is set up for Brazil,” Messi said at the weekend, prior to Brazil’s victory over Peru in the final.
“I hope the VAR and referees don’t play any part in the final and that Peru can compete but it looks tough to me.
“I did not want to be part of this corruption. We shouldn’t have to be part of the disrespect we suffered during the Copa America.”
According to The Mirror, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner could now be facing a lengthy suspension from representing La Albiceleste.
CONMEBOL regulations prohibit ‘insulting in any means or manner CONMEBOL, its institutions or personnel, with those found guilty of doing so at risk of a two-year ban.
That would see Messi miss the 2020 Copa America, as well as qualification for the 2022 World Cup.