FIFA lifts four-match Messi suspension

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Lionel Messi’s four match ban and $10,000 fine for berating a linesman have been lifted by FIFA following an appeal from the greatest player in the world.

The length of the ban was deemed extreme by some, but the complete reversal comes as a surprise even considering Messi’s status in the game.

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It’s humorous to see the lifting of the fine as if Messi was going to be troubled by the loss of 10k (“Oh… please… no…. anything but that). And we write this as people who would enjoy such a sum added to their bank accounts!

Here’s what FIFA said:

Despite the fact that the FIFA Appeal Committee considered Lionel Messi’s behaviour as reproachable, the former concluded that the evidence available was not sufficient to establish to the appropriate standard, i.e. to the comfortable satisfaction of the members of the Appeal Committee, that art. 77 a) of the FDC, according to which the Disciplinary Committee is responsible for sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials’ attention, could be applied.

It’s huge news for Argentina, which lost 2-0 in Bolivia without Messi in its last World Cup qualifier and sits fifth in the group. Granted that’s just a win away from second, but it’s also two points behind sixth place Ecuador.

Next up: friendlies against Brazil and Singapore before WCQs against Uruguay, Venezuela, Peru, and Ecuador.