Messi Wins Appeal, FIFA Lifts Four Match Ban…

Zúrich,May 5 (Prensa Latina) FIFA today overturned Barcelona star Lionel Messi”s four-game ban from international matches imposed for swearing at an assistant referee, saying there was not enough evidence to support the stiff punishment.


The U-turn is a major boost to Argentina’s hopes of reaching next year’s World Cup in Russia, with the South Americans struggling in regional qualifying.

FIFA said its appeal committee sided with a challenge filed on Messi’s behalf by the Argentine Football Association and lifted ‘the sanctions imposed on him as a result’.

‘Despite the fact that the FIFA Appeal Committee considered Lionel Messi’s behaviour as reproachable’ it concluded ‘the evidence available was not sufficient’ to justify a four-game ban.

In March the striker was found guilty of ‘having directed insulting words at an assistant referee’ in a World Cup qualifier against Chile which Argentina won 1-0 thanks to a penalty from the Barcelona hitman.

Argentine football chief Armando Perez conceded that Messi ‘made a mistake’, but argued that FIFA’s sanction was disproportionate.

The ban that started on March 28 and the fine for 10,112 US dollars y la multa de 10 mil francos suizos (10 mil 112 US were withdrawn.

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