Lionel Messi was a conspicuous absence from the Copa America third-place medal ceremony and blasted CONMEBOL for “corruption” after seeing red in the first half against Chile.
The Barcelona star laid on Argentina’s first goal on Saturday for Sergio Aguero to convert, before Paulo Dybala made it 2-0 within 22 minutes.
But moments later Messi was leaving the field after tangling with notorious Chile enforcer Gary Medel .
While Medel appeared to be the clear aggressor in their clash, referee Mario Diaz de Vivar showed both men the red card while players from both sides continued to join the brawl.
“There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil,” Messi fired, before suggesting that he paid the price for his previous outburst against the refereeing of the semi final.
“I hope the VAR and referees don’t play any part in the final and that Peru can compete but it looks tough to me.
“I did not want to be part of this corruption, we shouldn’t have to be part of this disrepect 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.”