The decision was announced less than six hours before kick-off of the match in La Paz and means that the five-times world player of the year will play in only one of Argentina's remaining five World Cup qualifiers.
“Footballer Lionel Messi has been found guilty of violating art. 57 of the FDC for having directed insulting words at an assistant referee,” read a statement on FIFA’s website.
“As a result, Lionel Messi will be suspended for four official matches and sanctioned with a fine of CHF 10,000 (£8,110).
“The first match for which the sanction will apply is the next fixture in the preliminary competition of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia between Bolivia and Argentina, which will be played today, 28 March.
“The remainder of the sanction will be served over Argentina’s subsequent FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.”
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Lionel Messi banned for four matches