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Audit: $128m embezzled from CONMEBOL

CONMEBOL
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Arturo Vidal says FIFA rules aren't the same for Lionel Messi

Stevie Nicol and Sebastian Salazar react after FIFA's Appeal Committee lifted Lionel Messi's four-game suspension.
Lionel Messi has won his appeal against a four-game ban on World Cup qualifying duty with Argentina.
Barcelona cruised to a 4-1 win at home against Villarreal, with Luis Suarez, Neymar, and Lionel Messi all on the score-sheet.

Chile star Arturo Vidal says FIFA would not lift a suspension for every player like the world governing body did for Lionel Messi this week.

Messi was dealt a four-game ban by FIFA's disciplinary panel in March after television footage showed him verbally abusing a match official during Argentina's qualifier against Chile.

He subsequently missed his country's 2-0 defeat to Bolivia, but FIFA on Friday granted Messi's appeal and lifted the sanction, saying "the evidence available was not sufficient to establish to the appropriate standard."

Chile have also had a number of suspensions during the current World Cup qualifying campaign. Jorge Valdivia and Gary Medel had to serve full four-game suspensions for incidents similar to Messi's, while Eduardo Vargas was handed a two-game ban.

And Vidal, who did not play in the March defeat to Argentina, suggested Messi received special treatment in his appeal, saying "the rules" are different for the Barcelona star.

"That issue is complicated," Vidal told Radio Cooperativa in Chile. "I wish all the rules were the same for everybody.

"It's good for Argentina, for Messi and for football because it's always nice to see Messi play for his national team, because he always gives everything.

"So good for him, but I wish all the rules were the same everybody."

Chile are in fourth place in the CONMEBOL qualifying table, the final automatic spot to reach the 2018 World Cup, while Argentina are one point behind in the intercontinental playoff position.

Vidal is fighting to return to full fitness, having sat out the last two games for German champions Bayern Munich, but he said he's still aiming to play for Chile at the FIFA Confederations Cup this summer.

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