London: Argentina captain Lionel Messi has been handed a fine of $1,500 for his inflamatory comments about CONMEBOL - South America’s football governing body - at this year’s edition of Copa America.
Besides the fine, Messi will also serve a one-game suspension for the red card he received against Chile in the competition’s third-place match, reports goal.com.
Messi had said that he and his team were the victims of “corruption” after the forward was sent off for an altercation with Gary Medel during the first half of Argentina’s 2-1 defeat of Chile.
He had also said the tournament was “set up” for Brazil, whose 2-0 semifinal defeat of Argentina was marked by refereeing controversies.
CONMEBOL had responded to Messi’s comments and had accused the Barcelona star of a “lack of respect.”
Messi’s ban is expected to be served in Argentina’s first qualifier for the 2022 World Cup.
CONMEBOL also sanctioned Argentine federation president Claudio Tapia over an attack on a Copa America referee.
Tapia saw red after Argentina led by Lionel Messi were knocked out 2-0 in the semi-finals by eventual winners Brazil.
In a letter to CONMEBOL Tapia complained of “serious and gross refereeing mistakes” which he claimed had penalised Argentina.
Argentina felt they were denied two clear penalties in the defeat, complaining that Ecuadorian referee Roddy Zambrano had refused to consult VAR to check the validity of their claims.
In response, CONMEBOL announced it had withdrawn “with immediate effect its confidence in Mr Claudio Tapia as its interim representative on the FIFA executive committee”.
Tapia alleged that Zambrano “unjustifiably omitted the use of VAR in at least two specific moves that clearly influenced the final result of the match.”
And he questioned whether “the principles of ethics, loyalty and transparency” had been observed during the match.