Lionel Messi suspended 2 matches for hitting opponent
Barcelona's Lionel Messi walks out of the pitch after being shown a red card during the Spanish Supercopa final soccer match against FC Barcelona at La Cartuja stadium in Seville, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Miguel Morenatti)Lionel Messi was suspended for two matches on Tuesday after hitting an opponent in an incident away from the ball in the Spanish Super Cup final. The Spanish soccer federation’s competition committee did not deem the incident to be too serious and applied a less severe penalty. Referee Gil Manzano said in his match report that Messi hit his opponent with “excessive force” while the ball was not near him. Messi will miss Barcelona's match against third-division club Cornellà in the Copa del Rey and against Elche in the Spanish league.