Messi faces suspension and could miss Argentina’s clash with Bolivia

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Argentina face a nervous wait to see if Lionel Messi will be available for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier after it was confirmed that FIFA have opened a disciplinary procedure upon receiving a report of abusive language directed at the linesman during Thursday’s victory over Chile.

Messi has already been named in Edgardo Bauza’s starting eleven for the match in La Paz but Argentina must now discover if their captain will be suspended.

Having scored the first half penalty that eventually handed La Albiceleste victory against Chile, Messi was upset with some of the decisions by linesman Marcelo Van Gasse during the second half and was caught on camera verbally abusing the official.

“La concha de tu madre!” Messi was seen shouting at Van Gasse and at full time, the Barcelona star refused to shake his hand. However, referee Sandro Ricci did not include this in his original report after the match, it has since been added and sent to FIFA.

The AFA have until 9am on Tuesday to present their case and until then it will not be clear what action FIFA will take but there is a chance that an immediate suspension will see Messi out of Tuesday afternoon’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia.

FIFA’s discipinary committe may yet take no action and Messi will be free to play or alternatively, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will be free to play in La Paz but ruled out for the away trip to Uruguay when the qualifiers resume at the end of August.

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