Lionel Messi paid Argentina’s security team because the federation didn’t
Argentina’s soccer federation apparently didn’t pay team security staff for six months. So, Lionel Messi did.
Argentine journalist Juan Pablo Varsky was reportedly told that Messi opted to pay the security team out of pocket this week after the Argentina Football Association—itself in midst of a rough patch—did not. According to comments Varsky made on a radio show, members of the security staff made Messi aware of the issue, and he had the money sent immediately.
FIFA has been operating the association since president Luis Segura resigned in June, after an investigation that uncovered misuse of funds. Messi himself has been on shaky ground with the national team at times, retiring and quickly unretiring earlier this year, but he’s showing solidarity with the workers that help keep the players safe.
It marks another layer to a busy international break for Messi. He endured Argentina's 3-0 loss to Brazil, then emerged as the hero with a goal and two assists in an important 3-0 win over Colombia. Following the Colombia win, Messi, with his teammates at his back, proclaimed that Argentina players were done speaking to the media following accusations against Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Argentina is currently fifth in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying with 19 points.