Argentina captain Lionel Messi has stated that he and his Argentina teammates will no longer speak with the press after a report accused winger Ezequiel Lavezzi of smoking marijuana after a team training. Messi also said that the decision is due to media's “lack of respect” towards the players.
The Argentina football team has been facing a lot of criticism off late due to their performances in the World Cup qualifying campaign. The Albiceleste have won just two out of their six qualifiers, and losing to Brazil 3-0 last week had critics having a go at Edgardo Bauza's men. However, the team were back on track after captain Lionel Messi returned to the squad, scoring a goal, and setting up two more in their 3-0 win over Colombia on Tuesday.
But a recent radio report claimed that Argentina's winger Ezequiel Lavezzi had smoked marijuana after a practice session which made the team stand in protest against the media. Messi, who spoke on behalf of his teammates, said, “As you already know, because here everything is already known, we're here to let you know that we've made the decision to longer communicate with the press,” reported ESPN.in.
“Obviously you know why, no? We have received many accusations and a lack of respect and we have never said anything.”
“But the latest accusations made about 'El Pocho' (Ezequiel Lavezzi) are very serious because if nothing is said, people will believe what they are hearing,” he explained.
Messi also said that the team will no longer be involved in media's game of 'lack of respect' and that the boycott is the only way to stop media from messing with players' personal matters.
“We regret that it has to be this way, but there is no other choice. We know that many of you don't play that game. This game of lack of respect. You could lose, you could win, you could think that we played well or that we played poorly...things that happen on the field.”
But when you mess with someone's personal life, and make these type of accusations, not for the first time, we have to stop it today or else we'll never stop it,” the 29-year old said.
Before walking out of the press conference with his team, Messi added, “It's very serious, that's why we are here. We're not going to be a part of this game any more. They[media] are not going to keep killing us, saying a million things like they have been. We are not going to be part of it any more. So it's done. Thank you very much.”