Lionel Messi faces Bolivia suspension after foul-mouthed rant

Argentina captain Lionel Messi is expected to face suspension for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia after being reported for a foul-mouthed outburst.

Messi scored the only goal of Thursday’s 1-0 win over Chile, hitting from the spot after referee Sandro Ricci gave a dubious penalty for a push on Angel Di Maria.

But the Barcelona star was enraged by linesman Marcelo Van Gasse in the second half, allegedly verbally abusing the official.

“F*** off, your mother’s c***,” he is reported to have screamed at Van Gasse, before refusing to shake his hand at the final whistle.

And while the incident was not included in the officials’ original report, it was added on Monday and sent to Conmebol.

The governing body’s disciplinary committee will now have to decide what punishment to hand down to Messi and, more importantly, when it should come into effect.

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) is aware of the possible sanctions and accept that their skipper should not be treated differently from any other player, regardless of his standing in world football.

AFA vice-president Armando Perez told La Tercera: “If he behaved out of place, then he should be penalised like any other player.

“He should not get a different deal just because he is the best player on the planet. It seems to me that he is in a position to be investigated.

“Conmebol is asking for all of the information. Everything that we know must be passed on.”

Should Messi be suspended, he would miss Tuesday’s clash with Bolivia in La Paz, although a prospective appeal could yet see him take the field.

Conmebol could also order the suspension to come into effect after the current international window, in which case Messi would miss at the very least August’s visit to Uruguay in the next round of qualifiers.

Finally, the committee could yet opt to disregard the amendment to the match report and allow Messi’s outburst to pass without punishment.

Argentina currently lie third in the South American qualifiers, behind Brazil and Uruguay.


Remie is a Publicist, Brand Promoter, Social Media Blogger and Influencer, Analyst and Editor-in-Chief at him at

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