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Vidal backs Messi over Copa America referee criticism

Vidal backs Messi over Copa America referee criticism

03/08/2019 at 10:01Updated 03/08/2019 at 11:01

Chile's Arturo Vidal has backed Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi after the Argentina attacker slammed the quality of refereeing in the Copa America.

Messi was controversially dismissed for a clash with Gary Medel as his side secured third place in the competition against Chile on Saturday following their semi-final exit at the hands of hosts Brazil.

The 32-year-old claimed after the match that the competition was being fixed in Brazil's favour following several controversial VAR incidents and Vidal feels that Argentina have certainly been harshly treated.

Lionel Messi - Gary Medl - Copa America

Lionel Messi - Gary Medl - Copa AmericaGetty Images

"The same thing happened to us when they sent us to a hotel which was two hours away from Colombia's stadium.

"The referee wanted to be more important than the match itself.

"How are you going to send off two captains for pushing each other a little? It was clearly a heat of the moment thing. No one raised their arms to the other's face. It was nothing serious.

"Two people going chest to chest can't be a red card."