London [U.K.]: With less than six hours before kick-off, FIFA has banned Lionel Messi from Argentina’s World Cup qualifier away at Bolivia.
The action has been taken against Messi for his insults aimed at – and comments about the mother of – Brazilian assistant referee Dewson Silva during Argentina’s 1-0 win over Chile last week, reports the Independent.
The Barcelona forward was caught on video invoking “the c*** of [Silva’s] mother” as he appeared livid against an officiating decision. Match referee Sandro Ricci did not include the incident in his report but Fifa confirmed they were investigating regardless after being made aware of the footage.
Later on Messi refused to shake the official’s hand and Ricci denied hearing anything.
“I didn’t hear any offensive language from Lionel Messi or anyone else towards myself,” he said.
“If I heard any offensive words, I would have acted according to the rules of the game.” (ANI)