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Five players who were banned for their controversial comments

Written by: Anjishnu Roy

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These players made for many headlines with their remarks.

CONMEBOL slapped Lionel Messi with a hefty fine of $50,000 and banned him from playing for Argentina National Football Team for three months after the Albiceleste captain criticised the highest governing body for football in South America and accused them of corruption.

Argentina was denied two penalty claims in the 2-0 loss against Brazil in the semi-final and following that game, Messi was unjustly sent off in the third-place playoff game against Chile. As a result, an angry Lionel Messi launched into a rant against CONMEBOL accusing them of favouritism towards hosts Brazil and calling them corrupt.

The ban means Messi will miss only a handful of friendly matches during the next three months.

Here are five other players who were banned for their remarks:

Pavel Pogrebnyak

Pavel represented the Russia National Football Team from 2006 to 2012 and has also played for English clubs Reading and Fulham and played at one of Russia’s biggest clubs FC Zenit Saint Petersburg. The striker who now plays for Ural Yekaterinburg in the Russian Premier League got into a swarm of controversy in March of this year following racist comments he made in an interview.

He was banned until the end of the season by the Russian Football Union (RFU) and was slapped a heavy fine of 250 thousand roubles by the Ethics Committee of RFU.

Rolando Mandragora

In 2018, Serie A banned Udinese midfielder Rolando Mandragora because they found video evidence that the player made blasphemous remarks in the 1-0 win over Sampdoria.



"After acquiring and examining the relevant television images, the Bianconeroplayer, while cursing without referring to anybody around him, was nevertheless clearly seen by the television images to make blasphemous remarks, visibly identifiable from reading his lips without any margin for reasonable doubt," said a disciplinary report from Lega Serie A.

Nicolas Anelka

The former French forward who has played for some high profile clubs over the course of his career including Paris Saint Germain, ArsenalReal Madrid CF, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea was at the centre of much controversy with the national team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Anelka allegedly insulted then France manager Raymond Domenech for substituting at half-time in the 2-0 loss to Mexico and also led a players’ mutiny against the management in training. Anelka was immediately sent home from the World Cup following this and the French Football Federation imposed an 18-month-ban on him effectively ending his national team career and forcing him to take retirement from the national team.

Luis Suárez

One of the #9s of this generation if not the best, Luis Suarez has an equally prolific record of stirring up major headlines off the pitch as much on it. The former Liverpool striker sparked up much controversy in 2011 for aiming a racist comment towards then Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

This incident led the FA to ban Suarez for eight games but the controversy failed to die soon. In another game between Liverpool and Manchester United that season, Suarez refused to shake hands with Evra.

El-Hadji Diouf

The former Blackburn forward appeared for an interview on Radio France International in 2011 and claimed that the ‘whole system of African football is corrupt.’ Senegal Football Federation set up a committee to investigate the remarks but Diouf failed to appear for a disciplinary hearing and was subsequently banned from any football-related activity for a period of five years eventually leading to his retirement.

Published: Sun Aug 04, 2019 09:44 AM IST

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