Messi gets one-game ban for Copa outburst

Marching orders
Paraguayan referee Mario Diaz de Vivar shows the red card to Argentina's Lionel Messi and Chile's Gary Medel during the Copa America third-place match in Sao Paulo on July 6, 2019. AFP
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Asuncion (Paraguay): Argentina captain Lionel Messi has been banned for one game and fined $1,500 after being sent off against Chile in the Copa America third-place play-off and levelling accusations of “corruption” at South American soccer chiefs.

Messi was shown the red card after clashing with Gary Medel and afterwards alleged that the tournament had been fixed in favour of hosts Brazil, who beat Argentina in a controversial semifinal on their way to claiming the title.

Messi called the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) "corrupt" and did not attend the ceremony to pick up his medal.

CONMEBOL said on Tuesday that Messi's comments were "unacceptable" but backed down from imposing a tougher sanction on the five-time World Player of the Year.

The ban is expected to be served in Argentina’s first qualifier for the 2022 World Cup.

In another Argentina-related decision on Tuesday, CONMEBOL removed the head of the Argentine Football Association's Claudio Tapia as their official representative at FIFA.

Tapia also sharply criticised CONMEBOL during and after the Copa America.

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