Lionel Messi had already been suspended of the first World Cup Qualifier next month for his rant against CONMEBOL in last month’s Copa América, but the Argentina captain has received further punishment from the South American Federation.
CONMEBOL announced on Friday that Messi has been banned from international duty for three months, in addition to a fine of 50 thousand dollars. Argentina and Messi have a week to appeal the decision, which they are expected to do, but the punishment will most likely stand.
With the ban, Messi will be out of Argentina’s next four friendlies, against Chile and Mexico in September and Germany and Brazil in October. He wasn’t expected to play those friendlies anyway, so basically this is what CONMEBOL is saying: “HEY! We won’t take this abuse, no matter who you are, mister! So you know what? You’re not going to play four meaningless matches you were probably going to skip anyway! We’re strong and serious!”