Lionel Messi’s controversial decision to accuse CONMEBOL of rigging Copa America officiating in order to favour a Brazil victory could have serious repercussions.
Spanish newspaper AS understand that Messi faces a potential two-year ban from international football after accusing the South American Football Confederation of being corrupt.
If CONMEBOL throw the book at Messi, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Argentina will refuse to participate in next summer’s Copa America unless the ban is overturned.
A two-year suspension would see Messi miss the 2020 Copa America and the 2022 World Cup qualification campaign.
The fall-out from banning Argentina’s star man - and the player widely regarded as the greatest footballer ever - would be monumental.
- Messi could be banned for two years
- Gabriel Jesus has meltdown after red card
- Dani Alves now has 40 career trophies
It’s not even happened yet but reports have already emerged claiming Argentina could walk away from the 2020 Copa America which, incidentally, is taking place in Argentina and Colombia.
Fox Sports understand that Argentina have received an invitation from UEFA to participate in the 2020/21 Nations League if that happens.
The Copa America features countries from outside of South America - Qatar and Japan took place in this summer’s tournament - so there appears to be no reason why countries from outside Europe couldn’t participate in the Nations League.
The inaugural Nations League took place earlier this summer and was won by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.
Gonzalo Guedes’ goal was enough to seal Portugal victory over the Netherlands in Porto last month.
The threat of Argentina potentially snubbing the Copa America for the Nations League may help Messi avoid a lengthy suspension from CONMEBOL.
UEFA have just taken the unusual step of releasing an official statement denying these reports.
“There is no truth whatsoever in the suggestion that Argentina has been asked to participate in UEFA competitions, nor to become a member of UEFA."
Unfortunately, we will not see Messi and Ronaldo going head-to-head in the next Nations League.News Now - Sport News