Gary Medel has backed Lionel Messi following their red-card altercation on Saturday night.The incident occurred during the Copa America third-place play-off between Messi’s Argentina and Medel’s Chile, and saw both players receive their marching orders.The pair confronted each other after the ball ran behind for a Chile goal-kick in the 37th minute, with Medel certainly the aggressor in the situation, as he repeatedly pushed his head and chest towards the Barcelona man. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare However, despite the protracted complaints from Messi and his team-mates, La Albiceleste were reduced to 10 men near the end of the first half.Messi was clearly still furious with referee Mario Diaz de Vivar’s decision after the game and refused to emerge for the post-match medal presentation.He even suggested the Copa America was ‘corrupt’ and that referee decisions had favoured hosts Brazil’s during the competition.”There is no doubt, the whole thing is set up for Brazil,” Messi said on Saturday evening.”I did not want to be part of this corruption, we shouldn’t have to be part of this disrespect we suffered during the Copa America.”We could have gone further but we weren’t allowed into the final. Corruption, referees and all the rest stopped people from enjoying the football,” he added.Medel also offered his views on the red card after the match and concurred with Messi that the 32-year-old had been harshly treated with the dismissal.“I agree with Messi, didn’t even think we’d get a yellow for it,” the Besiktas man told La Nacion. “There were a few shoves but that was it. The referee could’ve handled that a lot better.”The controversial match finished 2-1 in favour of Argentina, thanks to first-half goals from Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala, which cancelled out Arturo Vidal’s penalty for Chile in the 59th minute.The disappointing tournament means Argentina’s long wait for a major honour continues, and has now stretched to 26 years since they claimed winners’ medals at the 1993 Copa America.Lionel Scaloni’s side will have another chance to win the South American competition next year, when they co-host the event with Colombia, and it could well offer Messi his last opportunity to lift silverware on the international stage.
John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, will travel to three of the country’s provinces most affected by armed conflict – South Kivu, Orientale and Equateur, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.He will assess humanitarian priorities and necessary responses, in a context of increasing insecurity for humanitarian workers in some areas. Protection of civilians is one of the main concerns he will discuss with local authorities, the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), and humanitarian officials in the country.“The scale of the humanitarian needs and the lack of protection of the population continue to be of huge concern,” Mr. Holmes said. “I have come to see for myself how the situation is evolving,” he added.During a meeting today with Alexis Thambwe Mwamba, Foreign Minister of the DRC, Mr. Holmes acknowledged the efforts made by the Government in promoting stability, and in working with the international community to address humanitarian needs and protection concerns.Mr. Holmes and Mr. Mwamba also discussed the peace process in the east of the country, insecurity caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency, and the safety of humanitarian workers.Despite the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to some areas, almost 1.9 million people remain homeless after having run away from their villages due to violence. Most of them have continuing and significant humanitarian needs, according to OCHA.Each of the three provinces Mr. Holmes will visit has been affected by complex emergencies with different root causes. “We must continue to tackle the humanitarian consequences of these crises,” said Mr. Holmes. “But the underlying issues also need to be dealt with urgently, so that transitions to development and recovery can start in earnest.” 29 April 2010The top United Nations humanitarian official today arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for a five-day visit intended to highlight relief priorities and urge improved protection of civilians in the central African country where persistent conflicts have created one of the world’s most complex humanitarian emergencies.