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Lionel Messi, Inter Miami coach criticize MLS officiating after harm scare


Inter Miami head coach Gerardo Martino referred to as on Main League Soccer to “revise” officiating amid a brand new participant harm rule after star participant Lionel Messi seemingly criticized it throughout a reside broadcast following an harm scare to the 36-year-old on Sunday.

Messi, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner because the world’s finest participant, briefly left Inter Miami’s match at Montreal late within the first half after evidently having some type of challenge together with his left knee.

Messi was damage within the fortieth minute on a play close to midfield. He was fouled by Montreal defender George Campbell and went down instantly, holding his knee and writhing in ache. Inter Miami’s medical workers went onto the sphere to deal with Messi, who received up after about two minutes and walked to the Miami sideline. 

Messi was not subbed out, however below a brand new MLS rule, he needed to spend two minutes on the sideline whereas Miami performed with 10 males. Throughout that interval, Messi turned to the sideline digicam and uttered his frustrations in Spanish, as broadcast microphones caught the Argentine famous person saying “With some of these guidelines … it is going unhealthy.”

Inter Miami later got here again to win the match 3-2 in what marked Messi’s first time enjoying in Canada throughout his practically two-decade top-flight skilled profession.

The 2024 MLS rulebook states that “If the referee stops play as a result of a possible participant harm wherein the participant stays on the bottom for greater than 15 seconds and the medical workers enters the sphere of play, the participant could also be required to depart the sphere of play for 2 minutes.”

There are some circumstances that negate the required two-minute absence, one in all which is that if the harm occurred on a yellow or pink card foul. Campbell was not carded for his foul of Messi. Martino took umbrage with each that decision and the overarching rule when talking to reporters after the match, per

“In Leo’s scenario, he was clearly fouled,” Martino stated. “The participant deserved a yellow card, which might imply Messi would’ve by no means left the sphere for 2 minutes. As I perceive it, the workforce that suffered the foul was punished. With these new rule adjustments, there are conditions that should be revised. The infraction was clear and was a yellow card, and in the end it was us that misplaced Leo for 2 minutes.”

Messi’s absence practically burned Miami at a vital time when the workforce was down 2-0, however Matías Rojas scored a purpose off a free kick attributable to Campbell’s foul, a shot that Messi absolutely would have taken had he been within the match at that time. Messi rejoined play a few minutes later and was on the sphere when Luis Suarez’s purpose late in first-half stoppage time pulled Inter Miami right into a 2-2 tie at intermission. Rojas later arrange Benjamin Cremaschi‘s successful purpose within the 59th minute.

Inter Miami (8-2-3) prolonged its unbeaten streak to seven matches (5-0-2) regardless of Messi being held with no purpose or an help for the primary time in his 9 MLS appearances this season. The MLS Jap Convention chief is 7-0-2 in these 9 video games; one in all its losses got here towards Montreal in March, a recreation the place Messi did not play.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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