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Lionel Messi suspended 4 games for insulting official, won’t play for Argentina vs. Bolivia

FIFA found that Messi used profane insults towards an official during the Chile match.

Brazil v Argentina - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

Argentina got handed some bombshell news just six hours before their World Cup qualifier against Bolivia when they learned they won't have Lionel Messi for the game. The Barcelona star was found to have insulted officials during Argentina's match against Chile and has been handed a four-game suspension by FIFA.

The match referee didn't say that he heard Messi using profane insults, while Argentina didn't think he'd be suspended. But FIFA found other evidence, and now the Albiceleste will have to make do without their best player.

Messi's suspension will not apply to friendlies and must be served in competitive matches. Besides the Bolivia match, Messi will also miss qualifiers against Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru. Argentina currently sits third in CONMEBOL qualifying, two points head of the playoff spot and first team out altogether.

Goal of the day

Since the USMNT plays away to Panama on Tuesday, here's what happened the last time the USMNT went there.

In the news

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A Senegal-Ivory Coast game had to be abandoned due to a massive pitch invasion. (BBC)

Bayern Munich's leaked kits are a cool old-school throwback. (Bavarian Football Works)

We are less enthusiastic about Juventus' leaked kits. (Gazzetta)

Fun with transfer rumors: Chelsea really wants Alexis Sanchez. (Guardian)

You should be reading

Noah Davis on Christian Pulisic, the indisputable real deal. (The Ringer)

Tom Wiggins on going to three very different Spanish games in one day. (In Bed With Maradona)

Anna Kessel on the story of Britain's first black female footballer. (Guardian)

What to watch on Tuesday (click for listings, all times ET)

World Cup qualifying: 8 games -- We recommend Bolivia-Argentina, Brazil-Paraguay, and Panama-USA.