By Akinwale Kasali
Argentine Superstar and Five-time World Best Footballer, Lionel Messi has been banned for three months by the South American Football body, CONMEBOL, following his allegation against the Continent’s body of being corrupt during the COPA America tournament.
The Barcelona captain was handed a-$50,000 fine for his comments after his team’s 2-1 win over Chile in the third place playoff at the tournament held in Brazil.
After the third place triumph by the Albaiceleste, as the Argentina team are called, Messi refused to accept his Bronze medal and, also, boycotted the award ceremony and returned to Buenos Aires in Argentina, saying that he doesn’t want to be part of the corruption being practised by CONMEBOL.
The 2018/2019 top scorer in the Spanish League added that the tournament was staged for Brazil to win, which is part of the plot of CONMEBOL to further cement their corrupt activities.
Brazil defeated Argentina enroute the final of the Championship, to deny Messi to feature in his third successive COPA America final.
The last two finals saw Messi leading Argentina to the final, but on both occasions lost to Chile via penalties.
CONMEBOL as a body has regarded the allegation by Messi as groundless, baseless and unacceptable.
It added that Messi has insulted the body and will be punished.
Messi and the Argentina Football Association have one week to appeal the decision, which will basically force Messi to miss international matches for the remainder of the year.
During the third place playoff against Chile, Messi was red carded alongside Gary Medel, and was fined $1,500, including being suspended from his nation’s South American World Cup Qualifiers first match for the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
With this development, Messi could throw in the towel and announce his retirement from International football.
It would be recalled that Messi had earlier announced his retirement from International football after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but rescinded his decision after the country’s President’s intervention, appealing to him not to leave the team at that critical moment when the team was being restructured.
The suspension may once again make the 33-year old superstar bid the Argentine team farewell.