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Messi banned from int’ls for 3 months for ‘corruption’ outburst

FC Barcelona and Argentina’s forward Lionel Messi holds his trophy after receiving the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or award for player of the year during the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on Jan 11. (AFP)

Maguire move to United would be incredible business – Rodgers

ASUNCION, Paraguay, Aug 3, (RTRS): Argentina’s Lionel Messi has been banned from international duty for three months and fined $50,000 after levelling accusations of “corruption” at South American soccer chiefs during the Copa America.

Messi was sent off against in the Copa America third-place playoff and afterwards alleged that the tournament had been fixed in favour of hosts Brazil, who beat Argentina in a controversial semifinal on their way to the title.

The Argentina captain called the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) “corrupt” and did not attend the ceremony to pick up his medal. He was handed a one-match ban and a $1,500 fine for his sending off last month.

CONMEBOL had said that the Barcelona forward’s comments were “unacceptable”.

“The player is suspended to play official and friendly matches with his national team in that period of time,” the organisation said in a statement on Friday.

The ban means Messi will miss Argentina’s upcoming friendlies against Chile and Mexico in the United States in September and another against Germany in Dortmund on Oct 9.

He can appeal against the latest sanctions within seven days.

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has described their England center-back Harry Maguire as a “special player” they do not want to lose but conceded they have no choice after Manchester United met the Midlands club’s valuation.

British media reported on Friday that United had reached an agreement with fellow Premier League team Leicester to sign the 26-year-old England international, with a transfer fee of 80 million pounds ($97.22 million) agreed.

Maguire is expected to agree personal terms and complete a medical at the Old Trafford club over the weekend.

The deal would make Maguire the most expensive defender in the world, surpassing the 75 million pounds Liverpool paid Southampton for Dutch international Virgil van Dijk last year.

“I think it’s an incredible piece of business,” Rodgers added after Leicester’s 2-1 win over Atalanta in a pre-season friendly at the King Power Stadium on Friday.

“This is a guy (Maguire) that knows there has been interest all through the summer and he’s been super professional. He’s been with his team mates right the way through and been a really, really good guy.

Rodgers previously said the 2016 league champions had rejected two bids last month for Maguire because they did not meet the club’s valuation but they would not stand in the defender’s way once a fee was agreed.

“Football now, that’s how it works, individuals will have their own goals and targets and whatever it is they want to achieve and that’s something that they will always have,” former Liverpool manager Rodgers added.

Major League Soccer on Friday said that it was suspending Panamanian Roman Torres for 10 games after the Seattle Sounders defender tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Torres was also fined 20 percent of his annual salary for violating the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Policy effect, the league said.

The suspension takes immediate effect. Torres will be eligible to play again for the Sounders in the Sept 29 game against the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 33-year-old, who is also the captain of Panama’s national team, is in his fifth season with the Sounders, who won the MLS Cup in 2016.

Torres released a statement on Twitter saying he had never intentionally taken any performance-enhancing substances.

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