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Copa América

Messi and Medel sent off in Argentina v Chile match

The two players were sent off after clashing in the 37th minute of the Copa América third placed play-off match.

Messi and Medel sent off in Argentina v Chile match

Argentina's Leo Messi and Chile's Gary Medel were both given straight red cards in the 37th minute of the Argentina v Chile third placed play-off match in the Copa América when Argentina were leading 2-0.

Messi and Medel square up

In what had already been a bad-tempered game, with various scuffles between players, the two players clashed as Medel shepherded a ball out down the right hand side, with Messi chasing him all the way. Just as the ball was going out the Argentinean made contact with Medel, who turned and squared up to the Barcelona star. Medel appeared to attempt to headbutt Messi, who stood his ground, with the players' heads clashing. The two then continued to face up to each other, with Medel slamming into Messi, who continued to stand his ground.

The pair were broken up and both Messi and Mendel were shown a straight red card by Paraguayan referee De Vivar. Messi looked completely bewildered by the decision, while Medel at the point the red card was shown was still intent on attacking the Argentinean.

Both sets of players protested the decision and the technical staff of each side came on to the pitch, but after a VAR review the red card decisions were upheld.

Both fans and commentators reacted to the incident to complain that Messi had been unfairly treated. One commentator on BeIn Sports remarked: "This is the worst decision I have ever seen in my life. Messi didn't do anything other than putting his hands behind him. Pure injustice."