MX23RW : Friday, July 30 02:02:35| >> :600:1446419:1446419:
Jul 6, 2019 at 8pm UK at Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo
Attendance: 44,269
Argentina
2-1
Chile
Aguero (12'), Dybala (22')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Vidal (59' pen.)

Frustrated Messi launches rant at officials after his Copa America dismissal

The Barcelona forward did not take part in the medal ceremony.

Lionel Messi claimed Argentina were treated unfairly at the Copa America and did not collect his bronze medal after being controversially sent off in the 2-1 third-place play-off win over Chile.

The Barcelona star was dismissed towards the end of the first half of Saturday's match in Sao Paulo following a confrontation with former Cardiff midfielder Gary Medel, who was also shown a red card.

Messi appeared to have been hard done by, with Chile defender Medel appearing to push his head towards the Argentina playmaker as they squared up, chest to chest.

Messi did not take part in the medal presentations with the rest of the squad, and told reporters of his frustrations following the ceremony.

The Argentina captain suggested he had been singled out following his comments over the "crazy" officiating in the wake of their 2-0 semi-final defeat by hosts Brazil in Belo Horizonte.

"We don't need to be part of the corruption that we've suffered at this tournament," Messi said, as quoted by Spanish media outlet AS.

"Medel is always right at the limit. With a yellow that would have been the end of it for both of us, but well, maybe what I said recently had an impact.

"What's important is that the team finished well in the tournament. Maybe this was ordered and I ended up suffering because of what I said."

When asked about his thoughts on Sunday's final, Messi said: "Hopefully the referees and the VAR won't influence things and they let Peru compete, but I think that's unlikely."

Earlier Messi had helped set up an early goal for Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, with Argentina going 2-0 up through Paulo Dybala.

Chile were handed a way back into the match following another controversial VAR review which resulted in a penalty being awarded after Argentina's Giovani Lo Celso was adjudged to have fouled Charles Aranguiz. Arturo Vidal dispatched the spot-kick.

Despite again not being able to guide his country to tournament success, Messi said: "I'm leaving relaxed, with my head held high and proud of this group that's given everything. I hope this group gets respect, they've got a lot to give."

Head coach Lionel Scaloni was also left perplexed by some of the decisions.

"Either the criteria is bad, or they don't agree. It seems to me that they are not yet clear about the VAR system," he said at a press conference.

On the red card for his captain, Scaloni said: "I still don't understand what Messi did to be dismissed."

Chile – whose semi-final defeat by Peru ended hopes of a third straight Copa America title – saw Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez forced off with a suspected hamstring problem after less than 20 minutes.

Coach Reinaldo Rueda said at a press conference: "The evaluation of our performance was positive.

"We have shown to be a team which is very disciplined and I have confidence that we are doing great work."

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Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal in action during the Copa America quarter-final against Colombia on June 28, 2019
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Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ROWING
· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

SWIMMING
· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

TRAMPOLINE
· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

CANOE SLALOM
· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

FOOTBALL
· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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