Lionel Messi receives one-match ban and $1,500 fine from CONMEBOL for corruption comments

Argentina v Chile: Third Place Match - Copa America Brazil 2019

Lionel Messi caused quite a stir with his comments after Argentina crashed out of the Copa America last month. 

A semi-final defeat against Brazil saw the forward hit out at the competition's refereeing, calling some of the officiating bull****. 

"They [the officials] had booked a lot of bull****, but they didn't even check the VAR, that's incredible," he said. 

"At the first glance of contact, they ruled in their [Brazil's] favour and this kind of bull**** distracted us from the game."

Then, following his red card against Chile in the third-place playoff, Messi went off again, accusing CONMEBOL of corruption.

"We don’t have to be part of this corruption. They have showed us a lack of respect throughout this tournament.

"Sadly, the corruption, the referees, they don’t allow people to enjoy football, they ruined it a bit. I think the cup is fixed for Brazil."

Messi's explosive rant made worldwide news and reports suggested he could be in serious trouble for his accusations. 

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Some believed the Barcelona star could be hit with a two-year ban and a hefty fine, while others suggested his time with the national team could be up.

But it seems CONMEBOL are ready to forgive and forget and on Wednesday night, they announced a rather lenient punishment.

There will be no two-year ban and no significant fine. 

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Instead, Messi will miss just one game - Argentina's next World Cup qualifier - and he's been fined just $1,500. 

To put that figure in context, the 32-year-old makes $1,500 every six minutes. 

So, after everything he's said, it seems the forward has gotten off lightly this time.

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Unless Messi decides against it himself, he will be back challenging for the Copa America in 2020 and then the World Cup in 2022, hoping to win at least one international trophy before he retires.

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