FIFA found that Messi used profane insults towards an official during the Chile match.
Argentina got handed some bombshell news just six hours before their World Cup qualifier against Bolivia when they learned they won’t have Lionel Messi for the game. The Barcelona star was found to have insulted officials during Argentina’s match against Chile and has been handed a four-game suspension by FIFA.
The match referee didn’t say that he heard Messi using profane insults, while Argentina didn’t think he’d be suspended. But FIFA found other evidence, and now the Albiceleste will have to make do without their best player.
Messi’s suspension will not apply to friendlies and must be served in competitive matches. Besides the Bolivia match, Messi will also miss qualifiers against Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru. Argentina currently sits third in CONMEBOL qualifying, two points head of the playoff spot and first team out altogether.