Leeds: Argentina bigwig Lionel Messi has been handed a three-month ban from international football by CONMEBOL, South America's football governing body, for his comments made during the Copa America. Along with the ban, Messi has also been fined US $ 50,000. Messi will now miss three friendly matches to be played against Chile (September 5), Mexico(September 10) and Germany (October 10); in addition to the one-match World Cup qualifying ban for being sent off, reported Goal.com. On July 6, Chile's Gary Medal and Messi were handed red cards during their Copa America clash in the 37th minute of the match.
The video footage showed that Medal was clearly the aggressor and the decision of the referee was challenged by Messi. The Argentine striker, thereafter, had walked off the field. Messi was given his first red-card in a 14-year-long span and this decision had not gone well with the striker as he blasted CONMEBOL, saying the whole tournament was set up for Brazil's win and even went on to say that he does not want to be a 'part of this corruption'. "There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil. I hope the VAR and referees don't play any part in the final and that Peru can compete but it looks tough to me. I did not want to be part of this corruption, we shouldn't have to be part of this disrespect we suffered during the Copa America. We could have gone further but we weren't allowed into the final. Corruption, referees and all the rest stopped people from enjoying the football," Messi had said.