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Lionel Messi Five-time Ballon d'or winner banned by FIFA

Messi is being punished for an incident that occurred during Argentina's match against Chile on March 23

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play Lionel Messi banned by FIFA for four international games

Lionel Messi has been banned for four international games by FIFA for "directing insulting words at an assistant referee".

The Barcelona star abused a linesman named Michael Van Gasse during a 2018 World Cup qualifier against Chile on March 23.

READ MORE: World Cup Qualifier Spot on Messi fires Argentina past Chile

According to reports, Messi is said to have fumed: " 'f*** off, your mother's c***!'

This, according to FIFA, violates article 57 of the world football governing body's Disciplinary Code.

The decision, which also includes a fine of CHF 10,000 ($10,000), will take effect from Argentina's match day 14 clash against Bolivia in La Paz on Tuesday March 28.

 

Argentina are set for a difficult next four games without their captain and talisman, who scored the lone goal via a penalty against Chile as they got their Russia 2018 hopes back on track.

READ MORE: France Football Cristiano Ronaldo tops Lionel Messi in earnings, report says

With six games to go, La Albiceleste are currently in third place on the South American qualification table, trailing leaders Brazil by eight points and only two points away from dropping out of the automatic qualification zone.

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