Messi wins FIFA appeal, remaining 3 matches of ban lifted

Messi wins FIFA appeal, remaining 3 matches of ban lifted

ZURICH — Argentina captain Lionel Messi was cleared by FIFA on Friday to play in the next three World Cup qualifiers after a ban for insulting a referee’s assistant was lifted.

Messi already served one match of the four-match ban that was imposed when the FIFA disciplinary committee gave its ruling hours before Argentina’s 2-0 loss in Bolivia in March.

“We are very happy that FIFA once again has credibility at AFA and that we can count on Leo Messi,” Claudio Tapia, the head of the Argentine Football Association, wrote on his Instagram account.

FIFA said its appeal committee considered Messi’s behaviour “reproachable” for verbally abusing a linesman late in a 1-0 win over Chile on March 23. But the panel concluded the “evidence available was not sufficient to establish to the appropriate standard” required for the disciplinary committee to impose the initial suspension.

“The appeal committee nevertheless underlines the importance of always showing respect to the match officials, stressing that such a principle is essential in football and any unsporting conduct that may be contrary to the principles of fair play cannot be accepted,” FIFA said in a statement.

Argentina is fifth in the 10-team South American group with four games to go, starting on Aug. 31 against Uruguay. The 2014 World Cup runner-up is in line to advance to a November playoff against a team from Oceania, likely to be New Zealand.

The Associated Press

Just Posted

Got bats?

The Skeena Community Bat Program is looking for volunteers to help with their annual count

Missing teen reportedly spotted in Northwest

Police, family greatly concerned over disappearance of Colten Therrin Fleury

Police, Conservation see busy long weekend

Arrests, tickets and warnings follow joint-enforcement initiative

Injury forces end to hiker’s Pacific Crest Trail attempt

Due home this week, Janine Wilson still determined to finish challenge in the future

Vancouver choir to perform joint-concert with two local ensembles

Concert will take place on Saturday, May 26 at the Knox United Church

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

Most Read