The 2019 Copa America descended into yet more farcical chaos last night.
During the third-place playoff between Argentina and Chile, Lionel Messi and Gary Medel were dubiously sent off for a clash in the first-half.
There was a bit of handbags between the pair, with Medel shoving Messi and putting his head towards the Argentine.
However, neither player went to ground and it appeared to just be a spat in the heat of the moment.
Both players were worthy of a yellow card, but the referee bizarrely gave both men a straight red card.
- Messi refused to collect his bronze medal
- Medel slams decision to send him and Messi off
- Close-up of the Messi and Medel incident
It's only Messi's second ever red card and the Barcelona forward appeared to simply stand up for himself when challenged by Medel.
And his Blaugrana teammate Arturo Vidal - who scored a penalty in Chile's 2-1 loss - has sided with the Argentina superstar and Medel.
"I think Argentina had things go against them when they played Brazil," Vidal said, per Marca. "It was unfair, just like when they sent us to a hotel two hours away from the stadium to play against Colombia.
"The referee wanted to be more important than the game, how can he send off both captains for a bit of pushing?
"Clearly they got ahead of themselves, they didn't touch faces, there was nothing serious. Two shoves with the chest isn't a red card."
There's little doubt that most football fans will share Vidal's opinion on the matter.
The referee did to go to VAR to review the incident, but stood by his decision. Vidal made his feelings very clear on how the South Americans are currently using the new technology.
"VAR is used in a different way in Europe, in South America they have to learn," he added.
The criticism being aimed at CONMEBOL right now is coming from far and wide and they have some big issues to resolve before the 2020 Copa America.News Now - Sport News