Lionel Messi should apologise for his harsh comments at the Copa América in order to avoid a sanction, an Argentine member of sport's highest court said on Monday.
Following defeats in the last two finals, Messi had another frustrating end to the tournament when he was sent off in the third-place game between Argentina and Chile. He protested the refereeing and alleged "corruption," claiming the Albicelete had been treated unfairly.
Although a decision has not been announced, CONMEBOL could penalise Messi.
"I'd advise Messi to apologise because they're going to shake him with a sanction," Gustavo Abreu, an Argentine member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport told local Club Octubre radio. "He should apologise so they don't hit him with everything."
"There was lack of respect toward us during this Copa América," he said. "We could have done better, but they didn't let us make it to the final. Corruption and the referees are not letting the fans enjoy football. This is ruining football."
Messi had already loudly complained against Copa América refereeing after the Albiceleste's loss to Brazil in the semifinals, hinting the result was expected because the hosts were allegedly in charge of South American soccer.