World Cup 2018: Pique fumes over 'outrageous' Messi ban

FIFA's decision to ban Lionel Messi for four Argentina matches is outrageous, according to Barcelona team-mate Gerard Pique.

Spain's Gerard Pique has come to the defence of Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi after the Argentina star received a four-match ban from international football.

Messi was controversially suspended just hours before La Albiceleste's World Cup qualifier away to Bolivia on Tuesday as a result of insults allegedly aimed by the forward towards a linesman during last week's win over Chile.

In the absence of their talisman, Edgardo Bauza's team lost 2-0 in La Paz, leaving them fifth in CONMEBOL qualifying and facing the prospect of needing to win an inter-confederation play-off if they are to reach next year's finals in Russia.

Speaking to the media after Spain's 2-0 friendly victory over France in Paris, centre-back Pique took aim at the seemingly draconian punishment.

"I am not the person to discuss a decision of FIFA, but it seems an outrage to me that they have given Messi four matches," Pique said.

 

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