Referee for Brazil 2-0 Argentina defied advice to go to VAR for two Argentina penalty appeals

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Lionel Messi was furious with the officiating in Argentina’s Copa America semi-final defeat to Brazil on Tuesday.

Argentina had two penalty appeals but neither went to VAR, causing Messi to launch an expletive rant.

“They were not better than us. They found the net early and the second goal came from a penalty [to Aguero] they didn't award," Messi told reporters, per the Independent.

"They [the officials] had called a lot of bulls***, but they didn't even check the VAR, that's unbelievable.

"That happened all over the game. At the first glance of contact, they ruled in their [Brazil's] favour and this kind of bulls**t distracted us from the game.

“Throughout the tournament they called bulls*** handballs, bulls*** penalties, and bulls*** fouls. But somehow today, they refused to use VAR.

"There is no excuses for us, but we need to review this, analyse it and let's hope CONMEBOL does something about it - but surely not, because Brazil commands too much power in the organisation.”

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Argentina want to hear VAR audio

Well, it seems as though Messi’s comments are just the beginning of a potential scandal.

Reports have emerged that one of the VAR officials for the game, Uruguayan Leodan Gonzalez, told referee Roddy Zambrano to take a look at the two penalty incidents - but he refused to do so.

The Argentine Football Association has since requested to CONMEBOL the communication between Zambrano and the VAR - and wants it made public.

CONMEBOL have already confirmed that there were issues with the VAR system before the match in Belo Horizonte, but they were fixed before kick-off.

The problems were reportedly a result of Brazilian president Jair Bolsanaro’s attendance.

The radio frequencies of Bolsanaro’s security team coincided with those that Zambrano used to speak with the VAR team, according to Globo Esporte.

Though the problems were apparently fixed before the game, the admission will do nothing to comfort Argentina.

Argentina want the audio from the VAR communication to be made public. 

This could get ugly.

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