Vidal accuses FIFA of ‘special treatment’ for Messi after ban cut

Lionel Messi’s overturned ban for the Argentina national team has South American rival Arturo Vidal insinuating FIFA employs special treatment for star players.

The Chilean midfielder said it’s “good” in the grand scheme of things that Messi’s ban was overturned, but also implied there’s a different set of rules for the game’s top players.

“That’s a difficult issue,” Vidal said to AND Radio, via “I wish all the rules were the same for everybody.”

Messi was originally suspended four matches for verbally abusing a referee in Argentina’s World Cup qualifying win against Vidal and Chile in March. He served one game of that suspension, a 2-0 loss against Bolivia, before FIFA stepped in on Friday and overturned the ban following Argentina’s appeal.

“It’s good for Argentina, for Messi and for football,” Vidal said. “It’s always nice to watch Messi playing for the national team because he always gives everything, so good for him, but I wish all the rules were the same for everybody.”

As it stands currently, Argentina are on the outside looking in when it comes to qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. With an uphill battle ahead of them, they’ll need their best player around to contribute.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring during the Spanish league Clasico football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on April 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / OSCAR DEL POZO        (Photo credit should read OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images)