‘The officials called a lot of bulls***… they didn’t even check VAR’: Lionel Messi launches furious tirade against referees after Argentina’s Copa America defeat by Brazil
Lionel Messi blasted ‘bulls***’ refereeing and accused officials of favouring Brazil after Argentina were dumped out of the Copa America.
Goals from Roberto Firmino and Gabriel Jesus helped the hosts reach Sunday’s final thanks to a 2-0 victory in Belo Horizonte.
But Messi was left incandescent with the performance of referee Roddy Zambrano and the VAR.
Lionel Messi blasted ‘bulls***’ refereeing in an extraordinary rant after defeat by Brazil
Messi confronts referee Roddy Zambrano and his assistants at half-time of the semi-final
Arthur was lucky to escape punishment for a body check in the box on Nicolas Otamendi and the Argentina captain was also furious with a decision not to award a penalty after Sergio Aguero appeared to be fouled in the area just moments before Firmino’s goal.
‘Brazil were not better than us. They found the net early and the second goal came from a penalty (to Aguero) they didn’t award,’ said Messi, who was earlier seen confronting the officials at half-time.
‘They (the officials) had called a lot of bulls***, but they didn’t even check the VAR, that’s unbelievable.
‘That happened all during the game. At the first glance of contact, they ruled in their (Brazil’s) favour and this kind of bulls*** distracted us from the game.’
Gabriel Jesus (centre) and Roberto Firmino (left) both scored as Brazil beat Argentina 2-0
‘Throughout the tournament they called bulls*** handballs, bulls*** penalties,’ the captain said
In the extraordinary rant, Messi also called on the footballing authorities to look into the refereeing of the tournament.
But the 32-year-old claimed Brazil hold too much sway within the South American Football Confederation CONMEBOL for anything to be done.
‘Throughout the tournament they called bulls*** handballs, bulls*** penalties, and bulls*** fouls. But somehow today, they refused to use VAR.
‘There is no excuses for us, but we need to review this, analyse it and let’s hope CONMEBOL does something about it – but surely not, because Brazil commands too much power in the organization.
‘I think we played a great game. We made a great effort and they were not superior to us.’