Ligue 1 - Village team chief banned for Messi bid
Cedric Enjolras, the president of FC Borne, who play in the second division of the Haute-Loire district league and represent a village of just 400 people, hatched the plan over what was said to be a "well-oiled" dinner with friends.
He then submitted a formal transfer offer for Messi with the French Football Federation and asked them to forward it on to the Spanish champions and the Spanish Football Federation.
However, the FFF did not see the humour in the stunt and after two separate disciplinary hearings, they decided to suspend Enjolras for six months.
"We cannot accept such behaviour," said Yves Begon, who is the chairman of France's transfer committee.
"It may be a joke but we are there to judge and deal with legitimate transfers."
Enjolras replied by saying he was disappointed the FFF did not have more of a sense of humour about the incident.
"It's unfortunate that they have decided to punish my club," he said.
Messi, who earns an estimated £180,000-a-week, played a starring role as Barcelona knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League on Tuesday night.