Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has suspended Lionel Messi for three months from international matches and fined him $50,000 after his Copa America outburst.
Messi criticized officiating and accused CONMEBOL of "corruption" after Argentina's Copa America loss to Brazil and after the team's third-place game against Chile. He has since apologized for the comments he made to reporters.
The Argentine Football Association has seven days to appeal to the sanctions.
Messi is already suspended for Argentina's first match of the South American World Cup qualifiers due to the red card he received during the game against Chile.
Argentina is set to take on Chile at 10 p.m. EDT Sept. 5 at the Los Angeles Memorial Colsieum. Argentina battles Mexico in another friendly Sept, 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Messi, 32, topped Forbes' list of the highest-paid athletes in the world for 2019 with $127 million in total earnings this year. He ranked second on the list in 2018 with $111 million in total earnings.