The Argentine national football team is going to face a huge setback just before their crucial World Cup 2018 qualifying encounter against Bolivia in La Paz as their captain and the pivotal footballer Lionel Messi is expected to be banned for the tie. the governing body of the world football, FIFA is all set to announce the shocking news with just a few hours to remain to kick off the match.

Lionel Messi Banned

The Albiceleste is currently holding the third spot of the World Cup 2018 qualifying group from the Latin America and is expected to face a stern challenge from the Bolivian team due to the high altitude problem of the venue, La Paz. The absence of their best footballer Messi will only rub salt into their wounds.

So what is the reason behind Messi’s suspension to this critical match? According to FIFA, arguably the best player in the world has been punished for his insulting comments towards the mother of the Brazilian assistant referee Dewson Silva, who was in charge of the Argentina-Chile match played last week in Buenos Aires. The Barcelona superstar was caught on the camera saying “the c*** of [Silva’s] mother” while complaining against one of his disputable decision. Although the match referee of the Argentina-Chile match, which the Albiceleste won courtesy of a lone goal scored by Messi, Sandro Ricci did not mention the incident in his match report, FIFA later announced they were looking into the matter after being informed about the video footage. Not only that, Messi refused to shake hands with the official of the match at the end of the game too.

Although the last week’s win against Chile kept the Argentina team in contention to get the ticket to Russia, the group is looking very crunched at the moment and only three points separate the second placed Uruguay and the sixth-placed Chile. It is noteworthy that the top four teams from the Conmebol group will get the direct ticket to play the 2018 World Cup and the fifth placed team have to undergo the play-off. Also, the venue for this upcoming match, the Estadio Hernando Siles stadium of La Paz has a history to make things difficult for the visiting teams, as it is the highest football ground in the world. Last time when the Argentina football team made a trip to this ground during the 2014 World Cup qualifying match in 2010, Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria was needed oxygen masks to cope up with the high altitude problem.

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