Lionel Messi Sidelined For World Cup Qualifiers
Lionel Messi will be sidelined for the next three Argentina FIFA World Cup Qualifier matches after being handed a four-game ban for insulting an assistant official last week versus Chile.
Messi missed Argentina’s match versus Bolivia on Tuesday night as the news was announced earlier in the day.
Soccer News: Argentina will be forced to look ahead without Lionel Messi after the captain received a four-match ban for insulting an official during the team’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier matchup versus Chile.
What are the icons of soccer teaching our youth soccer players?
Do you agree with this suspension? What will be the impact to the team? Is there a real possibility that Argentina could fail to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup?
These are the questions being asked on the sidelines of American youth soccer — and at the proverbial water coolers in offices.
While it would be unimaginable for Argentina — and therefore the legendary Messi — not qualify for the World Cup, the headlines of possible doom and gloom are flooding the Internet.
Now Messi is pleading his innocence in a letter to FIFA explaining he was simply yelling “to the air” and that his comments were not directed to a match official.
FIFA disciplinary panel suspended the super star soccer player and fined him 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,160) after his actions on the field during the Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Chile.
Barcelona is standing by their player and calls the four-match ban unfair and totally disproportionate.
“FC Barcelona wishes to reiterate its support for Leo Messi, an exemplary player in terms of conduct, both on and off the pitch.”
Messi’s suspension will not apply to friendlies and must be served in competitive matches.
The news came just six hours before Argentina’s next qualifier match on Tuesday, which ultimately saw Bolivia claim a 2-0 victory.
Messi will also be sidelined for qualifiers against Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru. Argentina currently sits in the playoff spot (fifth) in CONMEBOL qualifying following the loss to Bolivia.
Ecuador is two points back of Argentina as the pressure heats up in CONMEBOL qualification. The next matches will be held in August as Argentina takes on Uruguay on the 31st.