A Liverpool fan is quickly gathering signatures for a petition asking that Messi be "retrospectively banned for clearly punching Fabinho in the head”.
Footage that has emerged of a collision between Lionel Messi and Fabinho during the Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Liverpool at Camp Nou on Tuesday has opened public debate on whether the Argentine striker deliberately punched his opponent.
Messi’s apparent transgression went unnoticed by the referee and VAR. In fact, following the incident, Fabinho was sanctioned with a yellow card for obstructing Messi’s run. And from the resultant free kick, the Barcelona striker scored to give the home side a 3-0 win and a comfortable advantage heading into the second leg in Anfield next week.
With the emergence of the footage, Liverpool fans are up in the arms over the incident. And one Reds supporter, Callum Brydges, has created a petition on Change.org, which is asking that Messi be handed a retrospective ban by UEFA for “clearly punching Fabinho in the head”, which would see him miss the second leg at Anfield.
Messi got a freekick for jabbing Fabinho 😂 pic.twitter.com/l9jx1grGdM— ️Sean (@ScouserInIberia) 2 de mayo de 2019
Messi petition picks up almost 5,000 signatures
“So basically Messi gets a freekick for punching Fabinho in the head and scores it, I feel like this needs to be looked at by UEFA,” reads the petition.
At time of writing, the petition had reached 4,294 signatures, just over 700 signatures off Brydges target of 5,000.
Fans who want to sign the petition only need to go the website, fill in their name and email and press “sign petition”.
Last year, Liverpool fans started a similar petition following the Champions League final against Real Madrid, asking that Los Blancos captain Sergio Ramos be retrospectively punished for a foul on Mohamed Salah that left the Egyptian striker with a dislocated shoulder.
That petition gathered more than half a million signatures but did not compel UEFA to take action against Ramos.