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Fifa rescinds Lionel Messi’s four-match ban for swearing at official

• Forward now free to play for Argentina in World Cup qualifiers
• Andrés Iniesta back from injury for Barcelona’s meeting with Villarreal

Lionel Messi is free to represent Argentina in their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers after his suspension for allegedly abusing an assistant referee was overturned on appeal.

The 29-year-old Barcelona striker was banned from four international matches and fined 10,000 Swiss francs (£8,100) for supposedly “having directed insulting words” at an official during Argentina’s World Cup qualifying meeting with Chile on 23 March. He was banned for the subsequent 2-0 loss to Bolivia as a result but will return to contention as under-performing Argentina prepare for crucial meetings with Uruguay, Venezuela and Peru as they fight to secure a place at next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.

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