Argentina appeal Messi's three-month ban

The Argentina football federation has appealed a three-month ban CONMEBOL handed to Lionel Messi this past summer during Copa America.

AFA is seeking to have the ban reduced to two months so that Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni can have Messi available for friendlies in Europe against Germany on Oct. 9 and Ecuador on Oct. 13. As it stands now, Messi would only be able to return to action on Nov. 3. A decision is due by Oct. 3.

Messi was banned for three months from international matches and fined $50,000 in August after accusing South America's governing body for football of "corruption" during the Copa America.

Messi criticised the officiating and members of CONMEBOL following Argentina's semifinal loss to Brazil and after the third-place match against Chile but later apologised for his statements.

Argentina drew Chile 0-0 and beat Mexico 4-0 in September friendlies.

He is already suspended from the first match of the South American World Cup qualifiers in March because of the red card he received against Chile in an incident with Gary Medel.

Messi, 32, avoided the Copa America medal ceremony in protest and later said Argentina "shouldn't take part in this corruption."

Messi also said the tournament was set up for hosts Brazil to win. Asked if he feared being suspended for his comments, he said "the truth needed to be told."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.