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Messi's allegations of corruption in Copa America "unacceptable": CONMEBOL

ANI | Updated: Jul 07, 2019 14:01 IST

Sao Paulo [Brazil], July 7 (ANI): South American football governing body CONMEBOL has termed as "unacceptable" the allegations of corruption by Argentine striker Lionel Messi in the Copa America tournament, saying his comments "misrepresented the truth".
"In football sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and accepting the outcome of a match with loyalty and respect is a fundamental pillar of fair play. Same goes to the refereeing decisions, that are human and will never be perfect," Goal.com quoted CONMEBOL's statement as saying on Saturday.
"It's unacceptable that because of incidents proper to the competitions, where 12 nations competed in, all in equal condition, there have been unfounded accusations that misrepresent the truth and put to judgement the integrity of Copa America. Said accusations represent a lack of respect for the competition, all the football players involved and the hundreds of professionals of CONMEBOL," it added.
Messi was handed his first red-card in a 14-year-long span and this decision did not go down well with the striker as he blasted CONMEBOL, saying the whole tournament was set up for Brazil's win.
His remarks came after Argentina's 2-1 win over Chile in Copa America's third/fourth playoff match.
Brazil is scheduled to play against Peru in the final on Sunday.
"There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil. I hope the VAR (video assistant referee) and referees don't play any part in the final and that Peru can compete but it looks tough to me," Messi said.
"I did not want to be part of this corruption, we shouldn't have to be part of this disrespect we suffered during the Copa America. We could have gone further but we weren't allowed into the final. Corruption, referees and all the rest stopped people from enjoying the football," he added.
Chile's Gary Medal and Messi were handed red cards in the 37th minute of the match. The video footage showed that Medal was clearly the aggressor and the decision of the referee was challenged by Messi. The Argentine striker, thereafter, walked off the field.
During the medal receiving ceremony, Messi did not show up on the field. Earlier in the tournament, Messi had criticised the ground conditions for the competition and also questioned refereeing decisions.
Messi had been critical of the referees after the team's 2-0 loss against Brazil in the semi-final.
"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," he added. (ANI)