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Football News Lionel Messi blasts referees, hints at ‘corruption’ in CONMEBOL after volatile win vs Chile in Copa America

first_img Sao Paulo: Lionel Messi hit out at “corruption and the referees” at the Copa America after he was harshly sent off as Argentina secured third place with a 2-1 victory over Chile in Sao Paulo. In a niggly and fractious match on Saturday, five-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi and Chile captain Gary Medel were given their marching orders eight minutes from half-time after tangling on the goalline. Television replays of the incident suggested Messi had done little wrong.     “Corruption and the referees are preventing people from enjoying the football and they’re ruining it a bit,” said the global star. Messi had already been angered by the refereeing during Argentina’s 2-0 semi-final loss against Brazil, claiming the hosts were getting preferential treatment from South American football’s governing body CONMEBOL.     Saturday’s match will be most remembered for the double sending-off and the melee it sparked. In what seemed an innocuous clash, a frustrated Messi shoved Medel in the back as the center-back shepherded the ball out of play. A furious Medel responded by chest-bumping Messi twice in an incident that probably merited no more than a single yellow card for the Chilean.     Incredibly, Paraguayan referee Mario Diaz de Vivar showed the two captains the red card. “Medel always goes to the limit, but it wasn’t a red card for either of us. He (the referee) could have consulted VAR,” said Messi.     VAR was the issue in Argentina’s defeat by Brazil as Messi and his team-mates twice felt they should have had a penalty, only for Ecuadoran referee Roddy Zambrano to not only wave away their claims but refuse to consult the video assistance.     “Brazil were the hosts and they’re managing a lot in CONMEBOL these days, which makes it complicated” for everyone else, Messi had said, while criticizing the referee. That was something he felt he paid for in this match.     “I think the dismissal was over what I said. My words had repercussions, but you must always be sincere,” he said after the victory over Chile. “Before the match started he (the referee) said he liked to talk and hoped that we’d have a calm match, but at the first incident he sent me off.”      Medel could have few arguments as he reacted even more angrily after seeing red while players from both sides squared up to each other and the referee, who lost complete control of the situation. It took fully five minutes to calm the situation and get Messi, who remained measured throughout, and Medel to leave the field.     ‘Weighted towards Brazil’      Messi, though, took aim at hosts and arch-rivals Brazil.     “I think there’s no doubt that Brazil is going to be champions. The Copa is weighted towards Brazil and hopefully VAR and the referees will have nothing to look at in the final and Peru can compete because they have the team to do so, although it looks tough to me,” he said.     In Sao Paulo, Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala scored the first half goals that ensured victory for Argentina. Messi had created the opening goal with a quickly-taken free-kick on 12 minutes, picking out Aguero’s clever diagonal run before the forward rounded goalkeeper Gabriel Arias and passed the ball nonchalantly into the empty goal.     Ten minutes later, Dybala doubled the lead with a cool, dinked finish past the advancing Arias after taking a sumptuous Giovani Lo Celso through ball in his stride. By that time, Chile had seen influential Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez limp off with a hamstring injury.     After the dismissals, Chile seemed in danger of losing their heads and Erick Pulgar was lucky to receive only a yellow card for a stamp on Leandro Paredes that looked a far worse offence than either Messi’s or Medel’s. Chile was handed a lifeline when Lo Celso was adjudged to have brought down Charles Aranguiz on the edge of the penalty area, with Arturo Vidal slamming home the penalty on 59 minutes. Aguero came closest to scoring again but his chipped finish hit Arias in the head. Lionel Messi was sent off for only the second time in his career.Argentina finished third in Copa America after beating Chile 2-1.Brazil take on Peru in the final of the Copa America. highlightscenter_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

The Latest: MLS match postponed, 6 players test positive

first_imgThe Latest: MLS match postponed, 6 players test positive Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and three other pro players had tested positive for the virus after playing in a similar exhibition event in Europe. The pro tennis tours are suspended until August.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Associated Press The group stage match was scheduled to take place Thursday. MLS officials announced the postponement Saturday and said a new time and date would come later.FC Dallas confirmed Wednesday that players had tested positive upon their arrival in Florida for the month-long tournament. The entire FC Dallas delegation is quarantining in their rooms at the walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.Vancouver’s team is scheduled to arrive in Orlando on Monday.MLS said the postponement would allow both teams to have additional training days in Orlando before opening tournament play.FC Dallas will now play its first tournament match July 15 against the Seattle Sounders. July 4, 2020 ___Frances Tiafoe has tested positive for the coronavirus and withdrawn from the All-American Team Cup tennis tournament in Atlanta.Tiafoe was scheduled to face Tennys Sandgren on Saturday in the weekend tournament involving eight top American men’s players. The event is allowing a limited number of fans and not requiring masks, though will provide them if requested. Tiafoe defeated Sam Querrey on Friday but was showing symptoms after the match and a test was positive. Tiafoe, a 22-year-old who reached the 2019 Australian Open quarterfinals, left the event site and was replaced by Christopher Eubanks. Tiafoe was captain of Team Stars, playing against John Isner’s Team Stripes. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The MLS Is Back tournament match between FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps has been postponed after six FC Dallas players tested positive for COVID-19.last_img read more

Contending Badgers face off with conference’s top dog

first_imgCurrently batting .341 and knocking in 25 runs so far this season, sophomore first baseman Michelle Mueller has been a key contributor to the Badgers’ productive offense in 2012.[/media-credit]With just six games remaining, the Big Ten softball title race is finally starting to take shape, and for the first time in program history, the Wisconsin Badgers will have a major say in how it ends.Although the Badgers currently reside in a tie with Iowa for fourth place, they trail Nebraska and Purdue by just a half game each and conference-leading Michigan by a single game. A successful weekend would do wonders for the Badgers’ standing, so Michigan’s trip to Madison is perfect timing.The Badgers will open play with a doubleheader against the Wolverines Saturday, followed by a single-game finale Sunday afternoon.Following last weekend’s tough showing against Purdue, Wisconsin used three mid-week victories to rebound as it heads into this weekend’s set. The Badgers’ grueling series in West Lafayette, Ind., is far from mind now as Wisconsin feels it is mentally prepared to compete with the top team in the conference.“It’s all about the mindset,” sophomore outfielder Mary Massei said. “Even though last weekend was a hard loss for us, it didn’t faze us at all. We’re ready to get right back to what our goal is.”At the beginning of the season, the goal was not necessarily to win the Big Ten championship, but as the schedule progressed, Wisconsin worked its way near the top. On April 2, the Badgers were 3-3 and in the middle of a heap of mediocre conference teams, but as the weeks wore on and the wins poured in, the conference title came into focus.“After we swept Minnesota, I think a lot of things started clicking,” sophomore first baseman Michelle Mueller said. “We started to realize that we have the team to do it this year.”Michigan will bring a heavy dose of prowess to Goodman Diamond throughout the weekend. The Wolverines have spent a large majority of the season in the top 25 national rankings and currently sit at No. 23.Michigan has won the last four Big Ten regular season titles, and any team standing in its way of number five will surely get a run for its money.The Wolverines possess far and away the league’s best ERA, with a team average of 1.86 – 40 points better than the next contender. Their ace, Haylie Wagner, is widely considered the best pitcher in the conference with a league-leading 1.46 ERA and league-high 25 victories.The Badgers’ offense will surely have its hands full but is looking beyond the tough competition. With some hot hitting lately, junior third baseman Shannel Blackshear has now eclipsed the .300 batting average mark, the seventh player to pass that mark.Though some robust pitching is on the weekend slate, the UW offense is ready for a battle.“We’re just going to have to put the ball in play and also work the count,” Mueller said. “If you get to two strikes, and you battle eight pitches off, maybe you strike out. But the more we make them throw, the better off we’ll be.”It has been some time since the Badgers played a nationally ranked team – they lost to Oklahoma State 1-0 March 18 – so the excitement level about this weekend has definitely increased. Michigan will be the first ranked team to play at Goodman Diamond this season, so the Badgers are anxiously waiting to see how they stack up.“Our hitters are excited about the challenge,” head coach Yvette Healy said. “Everybody loves to play the best teams in the country, and when you get a top team like Michigan to come to your place, it’s very fun.”Wisconsin will look to continue is remarkable home winning streak of 13 games, adding to the program record with each victory. A pair of wins would set another program record with 35 total season victories.A series victory would not only help their Big Ten standing, but would also provide a great boost to the Badgers’ NCAA tournament resume. Wisconsin has not qualified for the 64-team field since 2005 and currently ranks 46th in the national RPI, good for second-best in the Big Ten.Having not defeated a top 25 team yet, dropping anything more than one game would represent a serious blow to UW’s postseason chances.Wisconsin will definitely have the home crowd behind them, with extra incentive, as Sunday is also senior day. Usually a designated player, Karla Powell is the lone senior on this year’s Badgers squad. Above all, her teammates and coaches want her to end her career at Goodman Diamond with a big victory.“It would be huge,” Healy stated. “She has given a lot to the team and the program. It would be tremendous [to win] and help her put her stamp on the program.”Powell was a First-Team All-Big Ten selection last season and has spent the majority of 2012 battling injuries, finding little time in the lineup. Her teammates will be ready to see her perform against the Wolverines Sunday, hoping for a little senior day magic.“You want to win for her in the first place, and then you want to see her excel,” Mueller said. “She hasn’t hit a home run all season, but I have a feeling it’s coming.”last_img read more