Copa Argentina 2024: Messi is injured, Scaloni is banned from directing

Copa Argentina 2024: Messi is injured, Scaloni is banned from directing

Coach Lionel Scaloni and star player Lionel Messi were both absent from the final group stage match of the Copa America 2024 against Peru on Saturday, but that did not seem to affect the defending champions as they had already qualified for the quarter-finals in Group A.

Coach Lionel Scaloni and star Lionel Messi were both absent from the final group stage match against Peru.

Coach Lionel Scaloni and star Lionel Messi were both absent from the final group stage match against Peru.
Scaloni has been banned for one match. The CONMEBOL disciplinary committee imposed the punishment on Friday after the coach repeatedly returned late in the second half of the 2-0 win over Canada and the 1-0 win over Chile. Scaloni did not attend the post-match press conference. Assistant coach Walter Samuel said at the press conference: “We consider ourselves a serious coaching staff. In six years of working here, we have almost never had this kind of punishment. It is a bit unusual. He wants to be with the team tomorrow.”

Even Argentina faces the risk of being heavily fined if they continue to delay returning to the field after the break. Canadian players publicly complained about Argentina’s late return in the second half of the match on June 20. Copa America regulations require players to be on the field at the right time after the break, and will be warned after the first violation. The fine is given after the second violation.

Defending champions Argentina have already secured a place in the knockout stages. They only need a draw against Peru to secure top spot in Group A. Assistant Samuel also confirmed Messi’s absence: “Leo had a problem in the last game and he will not be involved in this game. We will see how he develops day by day.”

The 37-year-old superstar revealed his injury after Tuesday’s win over Chile, explaining his decision to play in pain for 90 minutes despite not being 100% fit. But after undergoing tests, the La Albiceleste coaching staff decided to bench this player in the final match. Messi will be monitored daily and is expected to be able to return in the knockout rounds.

Similar punishments were handed down by CONMEBOL to Chile coach Ricardo Gareca, who was also banned from the final Group A match against Canada for being late in returning to the pitch. This is a worrying situation for Chile, who are currently third with just one point and need to beat Canada (second in the group, three points) to qualify for the next round.

 

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