Messi handed three-month international ban

Argentina captain Lionel Messi has been suspended from international football for three months after accusing the Copa America of corruption.

Messi has also been fined $50,000 (£41,121) by CONMEBOL, South American football’s governing body. He has seven days to appeal the decision.

He was sent off in his side’s 2-1 win over Chile in the competition’s third-place play-off and later said the Copa America was “fixed for Brazil” – the eventual tournament winners, who had beaten Argentina in the semi-final.

The Barcelona forward will miss friendly matches against Chile, Mexico and Germany across September and October.

Messi is also suspended for Argentina’s first South American World Cup qualifier next March due to the red card he received for clashing with Chile’s Gary Medel.

After the match, Messi was absent from the medal ceremony and later said Argentina “don’t need to be part of this corruption”.

Messi had already complained about the officiating at the tournament following Argentina’s 2-0 semi-final defeat to hosts Brazil.

Asked if he feared being suspended for his comments, he said “the truth needed to be told”. Messi later sent an apology to CONMEBOL for his remarks.

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