Messi leads teammates to boycott media over marijuana controversy

By Goal/Evelyne Wareh

Lionel Messi called for respect as he led his entire Argentina squad in boycotting the media following numerous allegations against players.

The striker ad his 25 teammates staged a protest following their 3-0 home win over Colombia on Tuesday evening.

Despite inspiring the victory by scoring one goal and laying on the other two to put Argentina’s World Cup qualifying campaign back on track, Messi looked glum during the post-match press conference.

ESPN

With his arms folded, the Argentine captain told the gathered media: “We have decided not to speak any more with the press.

“We’ve received many accusations, a lot of lack of respect and we never said anything. We’re very sorry it has to be like this but we have no option.”

“We know there are lots of you who are not in the game of not showing us respect but getting into one’s personal life is very grave and that’s why we’re here (announcing this).”

The entire squad then walked out leaving reporters stunned. The players have suffered criticism by sectors of the Argentine media over a loss of form and poor results.

But their decision to boycott the media was sparked by a radio report alleging Ezequiel Lavezzi smoked marijuana after a practice. Coach Edgardo Bauza, whose media conference was held afterwards, said the victory made him happy for the team.

He said: “I told the players I’m happy for them after a week of criticism and because it wasn’t an easy match.

“Messi is a great and decisive player, he showed that in the first goal and with the others.”

Argentina were slated by some media after going down 3-0 to Brazil in Belo Horizonte last Thursday.

It was their second consecutive defeat and followed two draws, leaving Argentina with two points out of a possible 12. Tuesday’s win means they have 19 points from 12 matches in fifth place in the South American group.

The top four go straight into the finals in Russia in 2018 while the fifth qualifies for an intercontinental playoff.

There are six rounds of matches to go next year with Argentina resuming their campaign at home to Chile, who are fourth behind Brazil, Uruguay and Ecuador.

Argentina were slated by some media after going down 3-0 to Brazil in Belo Horizonte last Thursday. It was their second consecutive defeat and followed two draws, leaving Argentina with two points out of a possible 12.

Tuesday’s win means they have 19 points from 12 matches in fifth place in the South American group.

The top four go straight into the finals in Russia in 2018 while the fifth qualifies for an intercontinental playoff.

There are six rounds of matches to go next year with Argentina resuming their campaign at home to Chile, who are fourth behind Brazil, Uruguay and Ecuador.

  

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