FIFA Bans Lionel Messi For Four World Cup Qualifying Games

Lionel Messi is banned from Argentina’s next four World Cup qualifying games, dealing a blow to a campaign by the 2014 runner-up that has stuttered without him.
  
 Messi’s suspension for “having directed insulting words at an assistant referee” during a home qualifier against Chile last week, started Tuesday in Bolivia, where his teammates were due to kick off hours after FIFA announced its verdict.

The five-time FIFA player of the year can appeal to FIFA, but is on track to return for Argentina’s final match in the 10-team South American qualifying group, hosting Ecuador on October 10. “We have to appeal this decision, we’ll see how it goes,” said Jorge Miadosqui, Argentina’s national teams director. “But we’re left angry and sad because (Messi) will not be with the team.”

Messi’s behavior and ban could affect his chances of winning FIFA’s best player award for 2017, even if his club Barcelona wins the Champions League.

1 Comment on FIFA Bans Lionel Messi For Four World Cup Qualifying Games

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