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Lionel Messi: Argentina and Barcelona Forward’s Ban Lifted after Appeal to FIFA


Messi

Lionel Messi is free to represent Argentina in their World Cup qualifiers after his four-match international ban was overturned on appeal.

The 29-year-old Barcelona forward was suspended for directing “insulting words” at an assistant referee during a 1-0 win over Chile in March.

A FIFA appeal committee said while his behaviour was “reproachable”, the evidence was not sufficient. He will now be available for matches against Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru as Argentina fight to secure a place at next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.

A fine of 10,000 Swiss francs (£7,800) was also lifted. The Fifa appeal committee concluded “the evidence available was not sufficient to establish” an infringement had occurred.

Argentina are fifth in their group of 10, with the top four qualifying automatically and the fifth team going into a play-off.

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