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FIFA lifts Messi four-game international ban

ZURICH: FIFA on Friday overturned Barcelona star Lionel Messi's four-game ban from international matches imposed for swearing at an assistant referee, saying there was not enough evidence to support the stiff punishment.  The U-turn is a major boost to Argentina's hopes of reaching next year's World Cup in Russia, with the South Americans struggling in regional qualifying. FIFA said its appeal committee sided with a challenge filed on Messi's behalf by the Argentine Football Association and lifted "the sanctions…

FIFA hears Messi appeal against four-match Argentina ban

Argentina forward Lionel Messi's appeal against his four-match international ban for insulting a match official was being heard by FIFA on Thursday, a source close to soccer’s governing body said. Messi did not travel to FIFA headquarters in Zurich for the hearing but Spanish media said he would make his defence in a video conference call. The FIFA Appeal committee was not expected to make an immediate decision. Messi was suspended for insulting a match official during Argentina's 1-0 win over Chile in March. The…