Lionel Messi Suspended Four Matches For Verbally Abusing Referee

The best player in the world and slight potty mouth Lionel Messi is appealing the four-match ban that was handed down by Federation Internationale de Football Association yesterday after he yelled at a referee in Argentina's 1-0 World Cup qualifier win over Chile last week.

Nevertheless, Messi was unavailable as Argentina suffered a 2-0 away loss to Bolivia at Estadio Hernando Siles in La Paz on Tuesday night.

Messi was punished for using "insulting words" towards an assistant referee during Thursday's 1-0 win over Chile.

Messi's club Barcelona described his four-match global ban as "unfair and totally disproportionate".

Argentinian national football team player Lionel Messi arrives at the Hernando Siles stadium ahead of Argentina's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bolivia.

Brazil put one foot in next year's World Cup finals on Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Paraguay as Argentina's qualification campaign took a tumble against Bolivia after the shock suspension of Lionel Messi.

The Catalan outfit said: "FC Barcelona want to reiterate their support for Leo Messi, an exemplary sportsman for his behaviour on and off the pitch".

The top four teams in South American qualifying advance to next summer's tournament, while the team that finishes fifth goes into a playoff.

First assistant, Emerson Augusto do Carvalho, said that Messi, who was close to him, complained about a foul signalled against Argentina, and said something he could not make out but believes it was an insult.

He was also fined 10,000 Swiss francs, or about US$10,200 (S$14,254). That revival saw Brazil take maximum points from their next eight qualifying games, leaving them nine points clear on Tuesday with four games left. This means that Argentina will have to secure their spot in the World Cup by winning the remaining games without their captain. "This could have been handled differently and he would have been able to play today".

"Enrique added that "'la concha de tu madre" is a typical Argentine expression like we say here "los cojones, ' or something like that".

  • Joanne Flowers