‘Messi ban unfair, irregular’ BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) Lionel Messi’s four-match ban in World Cup qualifying was unfair and irregular, the new president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA) claimed. Claudio Tapia, elected on Wednesday, also said Messi was banned from four of Argentina’s last five qualifiers because AFA had lost its influence at FIFA. Messi was banned on Tuesday by FIFA for verbally abusing an assistant referee in a qualifier against Chile last week. Argentina, lying fifth and out of the automatic qualifying spots in the South American standings, is expected to struggle without their best player. “(Messi’s ban) is not fair and it doesn’t abide by the rules,” Tapia said. Neuer out with foot injury MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich will have to do without goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for two games because of a foot injury. The 31-year-old Germany goalkeeper injured his left foot in training on Wednesday. Club doctor Markus Walther performed a small operation, and the club said yesterday that it “went optimally”. Neuer, who already missed Germany’s recent games against England and Azerbaijan because of calf problems, will miss Bayern’s league games against Augsburg tomorrow and Hoffenheim on Tuesday. Neuer received support from Real Madrid midfielder and former Bayern teammate Toni Kroos, who also had his eye on the upcoming Champions League quarter-final between the sides. “Get well. But take your time.,” Kroos wrote on Twitter. Everton’s Funes Mori out for season LIVERPOOL, England (AP) Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori is set to miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury, dealing another blow to the Premier League team’s defence. Everton say the centre back “suffered a torn meniscus” while playing for Argentina against Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. The club says Funes Mori will discuss surgical options next week and “is likely to be out of action for the rest of the campaign”. Right back Seamus Coleman sustained a broken leg while playing for Ireland on Friday. Everton are seventh in the Premier League after seven wins in their last 10 games. The team is six points behind fourth-place Liverpool, who host Everton in the Merseyside derby tomorrow.
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