After some gruelling criticism from Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, one of the referees at the 2019 Copa America has responded to what the FC Barcelona man said.
Following Argentina's 2-0 loss to the Selecao in the semi-finals, the Albiceleste captain pulled no punches when he claimed there has been corruption at the tournament.
With two penalty appeals turned down, including a challenge from Arthur on defender Nicolas Otamendi in the Brazil box, Messi and the rest of the Argentina side believed they were hard done by.
Addressing what was said about his officiating, referee Roddy Zambrano has admitted he was taken aback by the 32-year-old's remarks.
"It's not a nudge (from Arthur on Otamendi), the VAR checked and determined that it was 50-50. They did not consider it to be a clear penalty," he told Super K-800.
"On the first play, it is clear that Aguero steps in. It's almost a reckless foul on the defender. I never lost contact with the VAR, that is totally false.
"Messi is dedicated to playing, and I never had problems with him, the truth is that I was surprised by his statements after the match, but everyone has their opinion.
"When the Argentina players said I was nervous, they were referring to the fact that I was annoyed because I am always serious when I referee."
Reports suggest that Messi could be facing a major ban from the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) as it prohibits its players from making such claims.
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