Messi handed four game ban
Just hours before he was set to lead Argentina into their World Cup qualifying match against Bolivia, Lionel Messi has been handed a four match international ban.
This ban comes as a result of Messi aiming "insulting words" towards one of the assistant referees during Argentina's 1-0 victory over Chile on Wednesday. The only goal in that game was scored by Messi himself.
Messi's displeasure was due to the official deciding that the Argentina captain had committed a foul, which his gestures and shouting showed that he clearly disagreed with.
Along with the four match ban, Messi has received a fine which equates to £8,100.
The suspension will mean that Argentina's key man will miss four of their final five World Cup qualifying group games, with qualification at this point not guaranteed. The top four teams in the South America group will progress to Russia 2018, with Argentina currently sitting in third place, just two points ahead of fifth place Ecuador.
Messi's return will be for the final qualifying match, which incidentally is against Ecuador, which could turn out to be very important. That fixture will be held in Ecuador in October this year.