Argentina announce media boycott after Colombia victory
Lionel Messi announced that his Argentine teammates would no longer speak to the press after a journalist claimed Ezequiel Lavezzi was caught smoking marijuana in the team hotel.
The feelgood factor generated by the Argentina's 3-0 victory over Colombia was overshadowed by a media boycott imposed by a furious Messi and his Argentina team-mates after the final whistle.
Messi said the Albiceleste's players were incensed by a claim made by an Argentine journalist that forward Ezequiel Lavezzi had been caught smoking marijuana in the camp.
Lavezzi, who was not included on the substitutes bench against Colombia, has angrily denied the claims.
"We have made the decision not to talk to the press anymore, obviously you know why," said Messi, who has an often tense relationship with Argentina's media.
"There were a lot of accusations, a lot of disrespect, and the accusations they made against 'Pocho' (Lavezzi) are very serious.
"We know that most of you guys don't play that game of disrespect. We can be criticised if we lose, or win, or if we play well or badly. But this is getting into personal lives. If we don't put a stop to it now, we'll never stop it."
The team showed up together as a symbol of solidarity at the press conference, with Messi, acting as spokesperson for the group.