Messi cites refereeing bias behind Copa America exit

Argentina captain Lionel Messi feels that Brazilian favoritism from the referees was the reason behind Argentina’s defeat and subsequent elimination from the Copa America last night.

Messi’s hopes of winning a maiden international trophy was shattered by Brazil thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino.

Argentina had a couple of chances to score as they hit the crossbar twice. Messihimself hit the post while trying to score from the rebound after Alisson blocked a shot.

Following the match, Messi said, “They were not better than us. They found the net early and the second goal came from a penalty they didn’t award. The officiating was crazy. There were clear penalties, on Nicolas Otamendi, on Sergio Agüero.

“He [the referee] was on their side. In every divided ball or dispute, he inclined the pitch their way. It’s not an excuse, but the truth is that, in this Copa, they kept on blowing for stupid things, for handballs, penalties. But today, they didn’t even go to VAR when there were clear plays that should have been looked at.”

Despite Argentina losing, Messi called last night’s outing at Belo Horizonte Argentina’s best of the competition. The Barcelona forward said, “It was the best match we did in the Copa, against a Brazil that has spectacular players in all its lines. These guys made a huge sacrifice. They deserve respect. Argentina has the material to keep growing.”

Messi and Argentina will hope to end the Copa America on a high by clinching third place on Saturday. Argentina take on either Peru or Chile at Sao Paulo.

Also Read: Scaloni: Argentina deserved to qualify for the final

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