FIFA bans Barcelona forward Lionel Messi for four Argentina matches

Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been banned for four international matches by the world football governing body FIFA.

The Barcelona forward was punished for directing “insulting words” at an assistant referee in last week’s 1-nill win over Chile.

Messi, who scored the only goal in the qualifier, was reportedly angered when he was flagged for a foul, waving and shouting at the assistant in response.

The 29-year-old who has also been fined 8,100 pounds will miss his country’s next four competitive fixtures.

Argentina are third in South American qualifying, with the top four teams advancing to next summer’s finals in Russia.

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