Argentina captain suspension begins against Bolivia tonight
Just hours before tonight's World Cup qualifier between Argentina and Bolivia, FIFA announced that Lionel Messi will have to serve a four match ban starting tonight.
The Argentina captain has been suspended for verbally insulting an assistant referee during his side's 1-0 qualifier win over Chile last week.
That means the Barcelona star is also unavailable for three of the remaining four qualifiers for Argentina after tonight's match with his nation not guaranteed their place in Russia for the 2018 World Cup by any means yet.
But while Bolivia, who are highly unlikely to qualify from the South American supergroup of 10 teams as they sit 13 points off the playoff places with five games to go, should be glad that one of the world's best players is absent in La Paz tonight, their president Evo Morales isn't in favour of the ban for Messi.
A keen football fan and player in his own right, Morales took to Twitter to commiserate with Argentina's captain.
He tweeted: "I don't agree with this punishment against Argentina. As someone who knows something about football, Messi was the man fouled. I express my solidarity with the world's best player".
No comparto sanción contra Argentina. Algo conozco de fútbol, la infracción fue a #Messi. Mi solidaridad con el mejor futbolista del mundo.— Evo Morales Ayma (@evoespueblo) March 28, 2017