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24 Jul, 2019 10:00

Messi handed 1-game ban, $1.5K fine for Argentina red card… but ‘corruption’ rant case still open

Messi handed 1-game ban, $1.5K fine for Argentina red card… but ‘corruption’ rant case still open

Lionel Messi has been banned for one game and fined $1,500 for the red card he received against Chile at the Copa America, but officials are reportedly still investigating “corruption” comments he made about tournament organizers.

Messi was sent off for just the second time in his career when he clashed with Chile captain Gary Medel in the Copa America third-place play-off in Brazil earlier this month.

READ MORE: Messi sees red! Argentina star sent off for clash with Chile skipper Medel in Copa America (VIDEO)

The Argentine star refused to attend the medal ceremony after the game and later branded tournament officials “corrupt,” claiming the competition was “set up” so that hosts Brazil would win.

Also on rt.com ‘Corruption’: Messi rages at Copa America officials after being sent off for just second time

South American football authorities CONMEBOL announced on Tuesday that Messi would be banned for one international game – most likely Argentina’s first qualifier for the 2022 Qatar World Cup – and fined $1,500 for the sending off.

However, there was no mention of any sanction for Messi’s “corruption” accusations against the football authorities, which could technically carry a ban of up to two years.

READ MORE: Messi could face TWO-YEAR BAN over Copa America ‘corruption’ comments

According to local outlet La Nacion, CONMEBOL is still looking into those comments, with the issue not yet resolved.

Messi reportedly apologized to CONMEBOL in a letter sent by the Argentine FA on July 20, saying he had made the statements during a time of “emotional stress.”

Also on rt.com 'He needs to have more respect': Brazil boss Tite slams Messi's claims that Copa America was rigged