Federation Internationale de Football Association slaps ban on Messi

"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", Barca said in a statement.

The Spanish club has reiterated its support to Messi and has said that the decision was "unfair and disproportionate". "Messi has never done that before, not with the national team or with Barcelona".

Argentina are now fifth in CONMEBOL qualifying, and will be without their talisman for another three games. We are alive and want to qualify for the World Cup.

Federation Internationale de Football Association announced the suspension Tuesday, just hours before the Albiceleste played the Bolivia in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Messi was punished for abusing an official after using "insulting words" towards an assistant referee during Thursday's 1-0 win over Chile. "Of course, to replace Messi is impossible".

Apart from the suspension, Messi will also pay about $10,000 for the infraction.

"The second thing that baffles me is that players cover their mouths to say good morning and when they swear at the linesmen.they do not cover their mouths".

"What surprised us was the little time we were given to release a legal response", he said.

Edgardo Bauza's side are, however, just two points ahead of sixth placed Ecuador, and only four points ahead of Paraguay and Peru in seventh and eight respectively.

But Uruguay's upset 2-1 loss to Peru in the day's final South American qualifier combined with other results meant Brazil is mathematically guaranteed a place at next year's finals in Russian Federation. The further embarrassment of a first round exit at last year's Copa America Centenario only deepened the sense of despondency. Now, with only four left, Argentina sitting in fifth place in CONMEBOL qualifying, and Messi currently only available for the last qualifier in October, Argentina are on the cusp of not making it to Russian Federation next year.

"Cesar Luis Menotti once said that when a player makes a mistake, they should not be forbidden to play but should do social work or something like that instead". "Now we're doing it again, and I'm very happy for that".

Argentina lost 2-0 to Bolivia, without Messi, on Tuesday night.

  • Leroy Wright