Buenos Aires: Argentina Football Association (AFA) President, Luis Segura called for an end to the mistreatment of star playmaker Lionel Messi after Argentina were defeated in the 2015 Copa America final by hosts Chile.
Lionel Messi. Pic/ AFP
"I don't understand the people. One can have preferences, make comparisons but to mistreat Messi the way they did is an immense injustice," Segura said on Tuesday.
Lionel Messi, 28, received harsh comments after Argentina's 4-1 defeat in the penalty shootout on Saturday.
"There are many football-based conversations -- comparing Messi with Maradona or Cristiano Ronaldo -- but the things they are saying are unacceptable," said Segura, Xinhua reported.
The AFA head also defended the entire Argentinian unit saying, "the bitterness" that they have after losing the final is "larger than what the fans feel".
Argentina lost 3-0 against Brazil in the 2007 Copa America final and 1-0 against Germany in the 2014 World Cup final.
Local media said that Messi is considering to stay out of the national team for a while due to the severe criticism levelled against him.