World Cup qualifiers: Lionel Messi leads Argentina's media boycott over Lavezzi marijuana claims
Lionel Messi led the Argentina squad in a media boycott as he announced no player would speak to the press due to perceived unjust treatment
San Juan (Argentina): Lionel Messi led the Argentina squad in a media boycott as he announced no player would speak to the press due to perceived unjust treatment.
Captain Messi was flanked by the entire squad as he told journalists about the boycott in the press conference room at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario following Argentina's 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Colombia on Tuesday night.
After the match they staged a protest against allegations made against Ezequiel Lavezzi and Messi, surrounded like the likes of Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Javier Mascherano, and revealed the squad were imposing an indefinite media boycott.
He said: "We are here to tell you that we are not going to talk to the press any more, you know why. We have received a lot of accusations and disrespect, but the accusation against Pocho (Lavezzi) is very serious."
"We are sorry we have to do this...but we're not going to talk. We know that a lot of you (journalists) are not involved in this, but this is what we've decided.
"You can criticise us if we play well or badly, but getting into one's private life and such serious accusations — no."
After Messi had finished speaking the squad walked out of the press room.
Lavezzi, the former Napoli and Paris St Germain forward now with Hebei China Fortune, was accused by a journalist on Twitter of smoking marijuana after a training session.
He strongly denies the allegation and has announced on Twitter that he is taking legal action against the journalist responsible for what he called "false statements" which have caused "serious damage" to his family and his work.
Argentina's next qualifier sees them host Chile.
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