Messi insults ‘at thin air’

Lionel Messi has written a letter to FIFA to overturn his international suspension as his insulting words were ‘directed to the air’.

The Argentina captain was banned for four international matches after being found guilty of insulating an assistant referee during Argentina's World Cup qualifier against Chile last week.

“I vehemently deny having offended assistant referee 1 during the game against Chile, and more so do not believe that my conduct falls under article 57 of FIFA's disciplinary code," Messi wrote in a nine-paragraph letter.

"Assistant referee 1, of Brazilian nationality, perfectly understood what I was saying, so much so that we spoke amicably and at no time did my words offend or insult the official.

"If any of my words made assistant referee 1 uncomfortable, they were never directed at him but rather to the air and for that, I apologise.

"I hereby expressly request for the disciplinary case to be dismissed without any sanction against me."

The Barcelona star sat out his side’s 2-0 loss at Bolivia and will also miss the World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay, Peru and Venezuela.

Tags Argentina Lionel Messi