Lionel Messi has four match international ban for insulting an assistant referee lifted by FIFA. Following a hearing which took place in Zurich on May 4 2017, the FIFA Appeal committee has upheld the appeal lodged by the Argentinian Football Association on behalf of Lionel Messi, against the decision taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. Lifting the sanctions imposed on him, the FIFA Appeal Committee set aside the decision taken by the FIFA Disciplinary Committee on 28 March 2017, which had found the Argentinean guilty of directing insulting words at an assistant referee during Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Chile.
“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. In view of the above decision, the suspension for four matches imposed on Lionel Messi, which entered into force on 28 March 2017, and the fine of CHF 10,000 have been lifted,” the statement read.
He can now feature in Argentina’s next matches.