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COPA AM'ERICA

Leo Messi red card baffles Argentina boss Scaloni

Lionel Scaloni struggled to understand why Lionel Messi was shown a red card half an hour into Argentina's third-place play-off against Chile.

Messi red card baffles Argentina boss Scaloni

Lionel Messi's red card in Argentina's 2-1 win over Chile at the Copa America bemused head coach Lionel Scaloni, who defended the country's captain.

Early baths for Messi and Medel

Argentina ended their Copa America campaign with a bronze medal after overcoming Chile in Saturday's third-place play-off, however, the result was overshadowed by Messi's controversial dismissal. Messi and Gary Medel both saw red in the first half after the Chile midfielder reacted angrily to a challenge and repeatedly bumped into the five-time Ballon d'Or winner with his chest.

Afterwards, Messi railed against "corruption" and "a lack of respect" following his decision to snub the medal ceremony at Arena Corinthians, having been critical of the officiating in the aftermath of Argentina's semi-final defeat to hosts Brazil.

Chile's Gary Medel pushes Lionel Messi in the Copa America third-place match

Scaloni nonplussed at Messi red card

Asked about Messi's red card, Scaloni told reporters: "I have seen the video and so far, I do not understand what he did to have been expelled. It would be interesting if the referee came out to public to speak exactly what he saw and also the men of the VAR. Obviously, he made a very quick decision, very strange, and worst of all is that the VAR does not correct, because for this there is the VAR. The VAR is here to help, and today it did not help."

Messi and Medel shown the red card by referee Mario Diaz de Vivar.

Should only have been a booking

The Argentina coach added: "We have already seen a few times expulsions in which the referee returns in the decision and shows the yellow card. This is what should have happened in this case. If you look properly, Messi did nothing. Well, they did not go back on the decision, they did not review it. I think the criterion is very strange. The other day Uruguay, I think it was by the nail of the foot, by the finger of Cavani pointed offside. They reviewed the video 55 times to try to justify, and with our team, everything that is against, is not reviewed.

"Not a good feeling, honestly. I do not want to think badly, but the feeling does not convince me. It does not convince our team, nor the Chileans, that we play today, Uruguay... There were many teams that had a bad feeling about this matter, and we were the most harmed because today we would be speaking in another situation."