• Thursday, Dec 09, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:17 pm

FIFA lifts Messi four-game international ban

  • Published at 08:44 pm May 5th, 2017
  • Last updated at 10:00 pm May 5th, 2017
FIFA lifts Messi four-game international ban
FIFA on Friday overturned Barcelona star Lionel Messi's four-game ban from international matches imposed for swearing at an assistant referee, saying there was not enough evidence to support the stiff punishment. The U-turn is a major boost to Argentina's hopes of reaching next year's World Cup in Russia, with the South Americans struggling in regional qualifying. FIFA said its appeal committee sided with a challenge filed on Messi's behalf by the Argentine Football Association and lifted "the sanctions imposed on him as a result". "Despite the fact that the FIFA Appeal Committee considered Lionel Messi's behaviour as reproachable" it concluded "the evidence available was not sufficient" to justify a four-game ban. In March the striker was found guilty of "having directed insulting words at an assistant referee" in a World Cup qualifier against Chile which Argentina won 1-0 thanks to a penalty from the Barcelona hitman. Argentine football chief Armando Perez conceded that Messi "made a mistake", but argued that FIFA's sanction was disproportionate.
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