Barcelona forward and Argentina captain, Lionel Messi faces a two-year ban for alleging that CONMEBOL influenced the Copa America tournament in favour of Brazil.
Speaking after Argentina’s victory over Chile in the third-place playoff at Copa America, in a match in which he was red-carded, Messi reportedly said:
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 disrepect 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.
I always tell the truth and I’m honest, that is what keeps me calm, if what I say has repercussions that is not my business.
Insulting CONMEBOL carries a ban of up to two years as per CONMEBOL regulations. Messi, if handed the ban, would miss the 2022 World Cup qualification as well as the Copa America next year in Argentina and Colombia.