Football Idol, Lionel Messi was banned from playing for his national team for three months and fined $50,000 on Friday by CONMEBOL after he heavily criticised the South American football governing body during the Copa America.
The Argentina star had accused CONMEBOL of “corruption” after he was sent off against Chile during the third-place play-off during the tournament in Brazil, which ended last month.
Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Barcelona forward, Messi was angered by two incidents during the June-July Copa hosted by bitter rivals Brazil.
Argentina were denied two penalty claims in their 2-0 semi-final defeat to the hosts, after which Messi claimed Brazil were “managing a lot in CONMEBOL these days.”
And when he was harshly dismissed in the next game, which Argentina went on to win 2-1, he couldn’t contain his anger.
“Corruption and the referees are preventing people from enjoying the football and they’re ruining it a bit,” Messi said.
He was given his marching orders after a first-half scuffle with Chile captain Gary Medel in which television pictures suggested he’d done little wrong.
Though, the CONMEBOL statement on its website didn’t specify why Messi was being punished but said it was related to articles 7.1 and 7.2 of its disciplinary regulations.
One such clause refers to “offensive, insulting behavior or making defamatory protests of any kind.”
Another clause mentions “breaching the decisions, directives or orders of the judicial bodies.”
The ban means only that Messi will miss a handful of friendly matches as Argentina’s next competitive fixture is not until the South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar begin in March.
However, he has already received a one-game ban from CONMEBOL for his red card against Chile meaning he’ll miss the first of those.
Argentina have two friendlies lined up in the United States in September against Chile and Mexico and another in October away to Germany.
Messi would miss all three of those but be free to play for his country again in November.
FIFA Slap Lifetime Ban On Samson Siasia For Taking Bribes
World Football’s Governing Body, FIFA on Friday issued a lifetime ban on Samson Siasia, former Nigeria Football Federation official after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing.
In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.
The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.
In addition to being banned from all football related activity for life, Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000, 46,000 euros).
Siasia, a former striker, also briefly coached Nigeria’s men’s national football team.
FIFA did not detail the nature of ties to Perumal, a Singaporean national who was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there.
Perumal later collaborated with match fixing investigators.
FIFA Issues Life Ban To Ex-Bolivian Football Chief
FIFA on Thursday banned the former treasurer of South America’s football federation for life after an ethics panel found him guilty of bribery.
Romer Osuna, who also once headed Bolivia’s football federation, was among a group of South American football officials charged with corruption in 2015 amid the unprecedented scandal that triggered sweeping reform within FIFA.
The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said in a statement that it had investigated a bribery scheme that ran from 2012 to 2015 in which Osuna was accused of “awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions.”
“The adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Osuna had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life,” it said.
FIFA also fined Osuna 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million, 922,000 euros).
Shortly after he was charged, Osuna had pledged to cooperate with investigators, both in Bolivia and in the United States, who were probing graft within world football.
Messi, Ronaldo, Van Dijk Nominated For UEFA Awards
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been named candidates for this year’s UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, European football’s governing body announced on Thursday.
The prize will be awarded to one of the trio during the draw for the Champions League group stage in Monaco on August 29, after they were shortlisted by a jury of coaches and journalists.
England’s Lucy Bronze, Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and France’s Amandine Henry have been shortlisted for the women’s award. All three play for European champions Lyon.
Van Dijk has joined Messi and Ronaldo, the two iconic players of their generation, on the shortlist after starring in defence for Liverpool as they won a sixth Champions League and came close to winning their first domestic league title in 29 years.
Messi won the first edition of the award in 2011 while Ronaldo has won it on three occasions, in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Luka Modric is the current holder of the men’s award after winning the Champions League and taking Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018, while Wolfsburg’s Danish striker Pernille Harder bagged the women’s prize.
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