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​Messi reprieve as FIFA lift four match Argentine ban

Lionel Messi is free to represent Argentina in their World Cup qualifiers after his four-match international ban was overturned on appeal.

The 29-year-old Barcelona forward was suspended for directing "insulting words" at an assistant referee during a 1-0 win over Chile in March.

A Fifa appeal committee said while his behaviour was "reproachable", the evidence was not sufficient.

A fine of 10,000 Swiss francs (£7,800) was also lifted.

The Fifa appeal committee concluded "the evidence available was not sufficient to establish" an infringement had occurred.

"The appeal committee nevertheless underlines the importance of always showing respect to the match officials, stressing that such a principle is essential in football and any unsporting conduct that may be contrary to the principles of fair play cannot be accepted," it said in a statement.

Ian Ferris
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Ian Ferris

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