The Argentine Football Association has apologised to Barcelona after national team coach Edgardo Bauza criticised the Catalan club for failing to take proper care of Lionel Messi.
Messi injured his groin in Barca’s draw with Atletico Madrid in midweek and is set to be sidelined for the next three weeks.
As well as the Blaugrana’s trips to Sporting Gijon, Borussia Monchengladbach and Celta Vigo, he’s also expected to miss Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay in October, which is what drew Bauza’s ire.
“The AFA has contacted Barca to express its apology for the comments made by the manager in relation to the injury of Leo Messi,” club spokesman Josep Vives said.
“The communication also insisted that the manager, Edgardo Bauza, had no bad intention and that the comments were unfortunate.
“Both the AFA and Barca express their keenness to work so that Leo Messi recuperates as quickly as possible because, as Luis Enrique said, ‘Messi is a global ambassador for football.'”
Catalan newspaper Diario Sport reports that Armando Perez, who is president of the Supervisory Committee at the AFA, was the man who made the contact with Barcelona to make the apology.
Bauza had said on Thursday: “Barcelona always sends us messages saying that we must take care of Messi, but they don’t take care of him very well. It is strange that they make him play in all their matches.”
However, he did backtrack slightly on Friday, explaining that he didn’t want to start a club versus country war.
Meanwhile, Vives also denied reports that Barcelona have reached an agreement with Uruguay for Luis Suarez to miss next month’s World Cup qualifier against Colombia.
“These rumours are completely false; there is absolutely no pact involving Suarez,” he insisted. “If his national team manager calls him up and he is fit to play, he will do so as normal.”