Copa America 2019: Lionel Messi refuses to attend medal ceremony after angry reaction to red card

first_img Reuters July 7, 2019UPDATED: July 7, 2019 10:17 IST Lionel Messi was sent off during the 1st half of Argentina’s win over Chile in Copa America 3rd-place match (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSMessi was shown the red card during Argentina’s 3rd place match vs ChileThe corruption, the referees, they don’t allow people to enjoy football: MessiDespite losing Messi in the 1st half, Argentina defeated Chile to win the bronzeLionel Messi was sent off before halftime and then angrily hit out at “corrupt” tournament organisers after Argentina beat Chile 2-1 to win a bad-tempered third-place playoff at the Copa America on Saturday.The match was 34 minutes old when Chilean captain Gary Medel shepherded out a ball near his own goal. Messi challenged him from behind and Medel reacted angrily, pushing the Argentine and raising his hands.The Paraguayan referee showed Medel a red card and even though Messi did not react, he too was sent off, prompting boos in Sao Paulo’s Corinthians arena. Reports said the Barcelona forward did not attend the ceremony to receive his third-place medal and he later hit out at the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).”We don’t have to be part of this corruption,” Messi told reporters. “The lack of respect that they have showed us throughout this tournament.”Sadly, the corruption, the referees, they don’t allow people to enjoy football, they ruined it a bit.”I think the cup is fixed for Brazil,” Messi added. “I hope that the VAR and the referees have nothing to do in this final and that Peru can compete because they have the team to do so although I think it’s difficult.”His comments came four days after Argentina were beaten 2-0 by arch rivals Brazil in a semi-final that was marked by a number of contentious refereeing decisions.Argentina were furious that VAR was not consulted for two possible penalty decision, with the Argentine Football Association president writing an angry letter to CONMEBOL to express his disgust.advertisementMessi’s frustration was evident in the mixed zone after what was only the second red card of his career.”You saw what happened,” he told reporters. “A yellow would have ended it for both of us. The important thing is that with 10 the team finished well and won.”The referee also showed six yellow cards in a match that was disrupted by 37 fouls.Sergio Aguero put Argentina 1-0 ahead in 12 minutes and Paulo Dybala made it two 10 minutes later with a nice finish after Giovani Lo Celso put him through on goal.Artur Vidal pulled one back for Chile from the penalty spot 14 minutes into the second half.Hosts Brazil face Peru in the final on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.Also Read | Gianluigi Buffon returns to Juventus after year at PSGAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Lionel MessiFollow Argentina footballFollow Copa America 2019 Next Copa America 2019: Lionel Messi refuses to attend medal ceremony after angry reaction to red cardLionel Messi hit out at the South American Football Confederation and the tournament organisers of Copa America after he was sent off during a third-place playoff against Chile. advertisementlast_img