Copa officials hit back at Messi

Copa America

With Argentina captain Lionel Messi having hit out at the 'corruption' at the 2019 Copa America, the South American football confederation has responded to the FC Barcelona star's comments.

Lionel Scaloni's side secured the bronze medal at the South American spectacle after defeating Chile 2-1 in the third-place play-off on Saturday evening, courtesy of goals by Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala.

The clash was, however, marred by Messi's dismissal in the first-half of the encounter following an altercation with Chile's Gary Medel. In the aftermath of the victory, Messi publicised his dismay at the competition, claiming that he did not want to form part of the corruption of the tournament and snubbed the medal ceremony.

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The organisers of the tournament subsequently released a statement and although, it did not mention Messi by name, it was clearly a response to the sentiments of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"In football, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. It's a fundamental part of fair play to accept the results with honour and respect. The same goes for the referee's decisions. They are human and always try to do things correctly." the statement on their official twitter account read.

"It's unacceptable that, in a competition where 12 national teams have been involved, in the same conditions, that unfounded accusations are made which lack the truth and intend to damage the integrity of the Copa America.

"These accusations represent a lack of respect to the competition, to all the players involved and CONMEBOL's professionalism. An institution that's worked tirelessly since 2016 to be more transparent, professional and aid the development of South American football."