Argentina's Lionel Messi, second right, talks surrounded by the teammates after a 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying soccer match against Colombia in San Juan, Argentina, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. Messi said players will not talk to press anymore because they consider that the press is being disrespectful. (Natacha Pisarenko, The Associated Press)

Lionel Messi: Argentina players boycotting media for pot allegations against teammate

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Lionel Messi says Argentina players will boycott the media because of accusations made against striker Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Messi says “we’re not going to speak anymore with the press. We receive a lot of accusations, a lot of disrespect. The accusations against Lavezzi are very serious.”

The boycott stems in part from a report by an Argentine journalist that Lavezzi smoked marijuana during the team’s training camp.

Lavezzi has said he would “initiate legal proceedings” against the reporter.

He was not included in the squad that defeated Colombia 3-0 on Tuesday, a key victory that keeps Argentina in the chase to reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Argentina, runner-up two years ago at the World Cup, has also been criticized for its poor play so far in World Cup qualifying.