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Lionel Messi slams ‘corruption’ at Copa America and refuses to pick up bronze medal

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The captain says the tournament is ‘set up for Brazil’

Argentina v Chile: Third Place Match - Copa America Brazil 2019 Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

Lionel Messi did not hold back with his comments after being sent off for Argentina against Chile in Saturday’s Copa America third-place play-off.

The captain was harshly shown a red card for a clash with Gary Medel in the first half of the match which Argentina went on to win 2-1 to pick up the bronze medal.

Messi refused to return to the pitch and pick up his medal after the match and then made his feelings about the tournament and those in charge quite plain after the game.

“There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil,” he said.

”I did not want to be part of this corruption, we shouldn’t have to be. I always tell the truth and I’m honest, that is what keeps me calm, if what I say has repercussions that is not my business.

”I think that what happened is because of what I said [against Brazil]. What I said last time perhaps came back to haunt me. With a yellow card that was the end of it.”

Source | Goal

Despite Argentina’s third-place finish it’s been a pretty unhappy tournament for Messi. He admitted early on he was not having the tournament he wanted, had a pop at the officials after Argentina’s defeat to Brazil and finished off by picking up the second red card of his career.