What Messi FIFA 4 Game Ban Means For Argentina

by Bamidele Ogunberu Last updated on April 13th, 2017,

What Messi FIFA 4 Game Ban Means For Argentina.  Lionel Messi has been handed a four-match international ban for insulting a linesman during Argentina’s 1-0 victory over Chile in Buenos Aires last Thursday. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was also fined 10,000 US dollars by the FIFA disciplinary committee, the world football governing body said on Tuesday.

“Lionel Messi has been found guilty of violating art. 57 of the FIFA disciplinary code for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee,” FIFA said in a statement.

The decision ruled Messi out of Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia in La Paz on Tuesday. The 29-year-old Barcelona forward will also sit out Argentina’s qualifiers against Uruguay on August 28, Venezuela on September 5 and Peru on October 2.

He will be eligible to return for Argentina’s clash with Ecuador in Quito on October 10 – the last match of the Albiceleste’s qualifying campaign.

The two-time World Cup winners are currently third in the CONMEBOL South American zone standings with 22 points from 13 matches, eight points behind leaders Brazil.

The top four teams at the end of the qualifying competition will automatically progress to football’s showpiece tournament in Russia next year. The fifth-ranked team will earn a play-off spot against the top side from Oceania.

Argentina will appeal the four-match ban handed to Lionel Messi by FIFA, national team secretary Jorge Miadosqui has confirmed.

The punishment, which rules Messi out of competitive action for his country until the final World Cup qualifier against Ecuador next season, was announced just hours before Argentina take on Bolivia in La Paz on Tuesday.

“We are surprised by the decision that has been taken,” Miadosqui said. “We are very angry because of the way it was handled hours before playing. We are going to appeal the FIFA sanction. There are previous [examples] to believe the punishment can be decreased. Messi is sad, as we all are. We do not agree with the way in which this was handled.”

And while this is bad news for Messi, it is even more grave for an Argentina team who have become dependent on his incomparable skills.

With Messi in the team, the Albiceleste boast an almost-perfect record in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers having won five games out of six.

A 3-0 defeat against Brazil represents the only time he has faltered this campaign with his nation, but without him the picture is rather different.

In the seven games he has missed Argentina have won just once, against Colombia in 2015.

A defeat against Ecuador was followed by draws against Brazil and Paraguay at the start of the qualifying campaign, and three consecutive games without victory means Edgardo Bauza’s team have taken just seven points out of the 21 on offer without their talisman, scoring six and conceding eight.

Barcelona have condemned FIFA’s decision to impose a four-match international ban on striker Lionel Messi for verbally abusing a match official in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Chile last week.

Lionel Messi heads to board a flight bound for La Paz, at the Viru Viru Airport in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, on Tuesday.

“FC Barcelona expresses its surprise and indignation at the decision by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee to suspend Leo Messi following the FIFA World Cup qualifying fixture between Argentina and Chile. The club considers the four-match suspension imposed on the Argentine player to be unfair and totally disproportionate. Finally, FC Barcelona wishes to reiterate its support for Leo Messi, an exemplary player in terms of conduct, both on and off the pitch.”

Lionel Messi argues with match officials in the half time of Argentina’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia South American qualifier football match against Chile in Buenos Aires, on March 23, 2017.

Argentina are fifth in their World Cup qualifying group, a point behind the automatic qualification spots. The top four qualify directly for the World Cup in Russia next year and the fifth-placed side go into a playoff against a team from Oceania for another place in the global showpiece event.

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Author

Bamidele Ogunberu

Bamidele Ogunberu

A prolific writer, Bamidele has worked in generalist and public relations capacities for an energy company before making the cross over into journalism and has never looked back
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