Lionel Messi: Barcelona ‘indignation’ at forward’s Argentina ban


Barcelona have described Lionel Messi’s four-match international ban with Argentina as « unfair and totally disproportionate ».

The 29-year-old Barca forward was suspended for directing « insulting words » at an assistant referee during Thursday’s 1-0 win over Chile.

He remains free to play for his Spanish La Liga club.

In a statement, Barcelona expressed their « surprise and indignation » at the Fifa disciplinary ruling.

« The club considers the four-match suspension finally imposed on the Argentine player to be unfair and totally disproportionate, » the club said.

« Finally, FC Barcelona wishes to reiterate its support for Leo Messi, an exemplary player in terms of conduct both on and off the pitch. »

Messi’s suspension was announced just five and a half hours before Argentina’s 2-0 World Cup qualifier defeat by Bolivia on Tuesday.

The result saw them drop to fifth in the table, outside the top-four spots for automatic qualification for Russia 2018.

Messi is set to be banned for three of his country’s four remaining qualifiers.





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