On March 28th 2017, Lionel Messi got suspended for 4 international games few hours before a World Cup qualifier match between Argentina and Bolivia Argentina lost 2-0 in absence of their superstar.

What was the reason behind Messi's suspension?

  • If I can swear in spanish I can tell you exactly what he said.. I will not translate it (probably not make any sense in another language)
    – gbianchi
    Mar 29, 2017 at 19:10
  • I was officiating with an Olympic/World Championship level referee for another sport, at a much, much lower level. A player had fouled out, and then was acting as the bench coach for his club team. The official instructed him to return to his bench after a goal, so we could resume play. The person made a comment, and was red-carded. Official was originally from Russia, player originally from Turkey. "What did he say?" "I speak 11 languages. If he said something to me that I couldn't understand, it must have been bad." Mar 29, 2017 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


Reason behind Messi's suspension as per statement from FIFA is "directing insulting words at an assistant referee".

Statement from FIFA:

The FIFA Disciplinary Committee – in application of articles 77 a) and 108 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) – has reached a decision in relation to the case of Lionel Messi following an incident that occurred during the match between Argentina and Chile on 23 March 2017 as part of the qualifying competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™:

Lionel Messi has been 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. The first match for which the sanction will apply is the next fixture in the preliminary competition of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ 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 article from Sun states Messi is being accused of saying, (contains foul language)

“f*** off, your mother’s a c***” to a match official

And this article from Mirror states,

Messi, 29, was furious with official Dewson Silva during the first half of the 1-0 victory, and was seen on camera verbally abusing Silva, reportedly declaring: (contains foul language)

“f*** off, the c*** of your mother."

Other sources: espn.in, ole.com.ar, bleacherreport, reuters,


He says in Spanish/Argentino "La concha de tu madre" I believe that there was an action on the field, on the second half, that lineman calls a foul by Messi, and then he gets upset there and well... after the match ends he reminds it to the referee.

  • 2
    Sources, references, anything?
    – Nij
    Mar 30, 2017 at 4:00
  • 1
    I am argentinian and I saw the match, it is easy to know what he is insulting... if you are asking for an official reference or source, well of course no site or newspaper or even on FIFA discharge you will read the insult, there are plenty videos on youtube, feel free to search them... youtube.com/watch?v=A9ZYQ-7fEdo
    – Pablin
    Mar 30, 2017 at 12:23
  • 3
    Sometimes it's impossible to provide a reference / source to support an answer, due to an answer being somewhat subjective or based on personal experience. However, this is not one of those cases. If you're providing the answer, it's your job to "feel free to search them", not the readers. Mar 30, 2017 at 20:38
  • 2
    There is no link whatsoever in the answer, and the only link present here is a random YouTube link of god-knows-what video or list.
    – Nij
    Mar 31, 2017 at 3:08
  • 1
    @Pablin I had to change the question slightly to make it not "off topic". Please modify your answer to match the question.
    – alamoot
    Apr 7, 2017 at 4:30

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