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FIFA are willing to halve Leo Messi's 4-match suspension

According to Argentinean daily 'La Nación', FIFA would reduce the player's ban from four matches to two if he attends the hearing in Zurich on 4 May.
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Update:
Messi.
Giorgio PerottinoREUTERS

FIFA are prepared to reduce the four-match suspension from international duty with Argentina handed to Lionel Messi for directing "offensive words" to a referee if the national team captain attends a hearing in Zurich on 4 May, La Nación reports.

Messi could see FIFA ban cut from four to two

Messi has been called to declare before the disciplinary committee at FIFA House on 4 May with the intention of reducing the suspension after the AFA decided to appeal. FIFA slapped  Messi with a four-match ban for insulting match official Sandro Ricci at the end of Argentina's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Chile.

The forward was forced to sit out Argentina's qualifier against Bolivia at the end of last month and should be the full ban be enforced, would also miss August's clash with Uruguay, the home meeting with Venezuela on 5 September and Peru the following month. Messi would only be eligible to play Argentina's final qualifier, against Ecuador on 10 October.

Messi, in action witth Barça
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Messi, in action witth BarçaJorge ZapataEFE

Messi could serve FIFA ban in friendlies against Brazil and Singapore

The Barça player has the full support of the Argentinean Football Association (AFA), whose recently-appointed president Claudio 'Chiqui' Tapia is in Barcelona this weekend to talk to the player. It is speculated that Tapia personally requested Messi to attend the FIFA hearing. There is even a possibility that Messi could serve the ban in the friendlies which Argentina have lined up against Brazil and Singapore in June .

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