World football governing body, FIFA, has suspended Lionel Messi from playing in Argentina’s next four qualifying games of the 2018 World Cup.
The disciplinary committee of the football body also fined Messi CHF10,000.
The 29-year-old striker was banned as a result of an incident that occurred during a match between Argentina and Chile on March 23, 2017.
He was found guilty of violating art. 57 of the FDC for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee.
“As a result, Messi will be suspended for four official matches and sanctioned with a fine of CHF 10,000,” FIFA said in a statement.
“The first match for which the sanction will apply is the next fixture in the preliminary competition of the 2018 FIFA World Cup between Bolivia and Argentina, which will be played today, 28 March.
“The remainder of the sanction will be served over Argentina’s subsequent FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.
“This decision is in line with the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s previous rulings in similar cases.”