FIFA were unmoved by Lionel Messi’s defence of his actions during Argentina’s game with Chile last Thursday, as the Barcelona man made the case that he’d simply insulted ‘the air’.
In a letter written before the four-game ban was handed down by world football’s governing body, Messi stated that his words were not directed at anyone specifically.
“My words were never addressed to the linesman, they were just said in the air,” the Barcelona star wrote in his defensive statement, as reported by the Argentine newspaper La Nacion.
Tuesday had already seen Argentina FA vice-president Marcelo Tinelli confirm that Messi had added ‘a note’ to the report sent to FIFA, although no further details were given at the time.
After the 2-0 defeat in Bolivia that represented the start of Messi’s suspension, he is also due to miss World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay, Venezuela, and Peru, subject to an appeal.