Argentina Football Association (AFA) leaders and lawyers travel to Barcelona next week to meet with Lionel Messi regarding their appeal before FIFA of Messi’s four-match international ban.
Marcelo Tinelli, the newly appointed head of Argentina’s national teams committee, also confirmed that the AFA president Claudio Tapia will meet with current coach Edgardo Bauza this Thursday.
“The idea is to converse with the player in Spain next week,” Tinelli said of the meeting with Messi. “The appeal is going to be presented and we will be discussing it with lawyers from Spain and Argentina and we want to speak with the player so we must travel there.”
FIFA issued the ban to Messi after TV cameras showed the forward insulting a linesman during the team’s 1-0 victory against Chile on Thursday. The decision was handed down just hours before Argentina were set to play Bolivia, a match the Albiceleste lost, 2-0, to imperil their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Juan de Dios Crespo, who is one of two lawyers putting the FIFA appeal together, said he could not discuss its details, but confirmed that Friday is the deadline for filing it.
“It would not be ethical for me to voice an opinion about it in advance,” he told Diario Ole. “We are putting together evidence and documentation with lawyers from AFA and my firm. In two days we will have everything ready.”
Tinelli, meanwhile, said he backs Bauza, whose future is in doubt, to continue as national team coach.
“We completely back him to coach, but first we will be talking. We want to see how he is, how he feels,” Tinelli said. “On Thursday we will meet with the president [Tapia] and the coach. What I can tell you is that we see that he is doing very serious work and is committed to the players.
“He has all my respect and that of the federation. I am familiar with his style of working and his values as a person.”