Lionel Messi appeals 4-match World Cup ban at FIFA

ZURICH (AP) Lionel Messi's appeal against a four-match ban in World Cup qualifying for insulting a referee's assistant is being heard by FIFA.

Messi, who is testifying by video, is not expected to get an immediate verdict.

The FIFA appeals panel typically gives a detailed verdict within weeks in non-urgent cases. Argentina's next World Cup qualifier is at Uruguay on Aug. 31.

Messi already served one match of the ban imposed when the FIFA disciplinary committee gave its ruling hours before Argentina's 2-0 loss in Bolivia in March.

FIFA was able to ban Messi after match officials did not report the Argentina captain for verbally abusing a linesman late in a 1-0 win over Chile on March 23.

FIFA rules require ''at least four matches for unsporting conduct toward a match official.''

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