Furious at having been sent off for just the second time in his career, Lionel Messi criticized CONMEBOL after Argentina’s 2-1 victory over Chile in the third-place play-off.
The Albiceleste captain did not take any part in the ceremony, after a Copa where he has hit the headlines more for his outbursts against organizers Brazil and CONMEBOL.
And when he finally addressed reporters from the stadium, he launched a scathing attack on the organizers of the competition who he accused to of favouring the hosts.
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“There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil,” he fired, before suggesting that he paid the price for his previous outburst against the refereeing of the semi-final.
“I did not want to be part of this corruption; we shouldn’t have to be.
“I always tell the truth, and I’m honest, that is what keeps me calm if what I say has repercussions that is not my business.
“I think that what happened is because of what I said [against Brazil].
“What I said last time perhaps came back to haunt me. With a yellow card that was the end of it.”
Lionel Messi attacked the referee of Argentina’s semi-final loss to Brazil of being biased after two controversial calls without using VAR.