The Argentina national team will no longer speak to the media after striker Ezequiel Lavezzi was accused by Argentine radio journalist of smoking marijuana at training camp leading to his being dropped from the 23-man squad for the two games over the last week, against Brazil and Colombia.
Argentina went on to win 3-0 with a goal and assist from Lionel Messi, and the Barcelona hitman led the whole squad including Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori onto the podium for the post-match conference in protest.
"We're here to let you know that we will no longer be communicating with the press.
"The accusations that were made towards Lavezzi were huge. We regret that it has to be this way but we have no other choice. We know that many of you don't play that game.
"We were accused a lot. No respect was being shown and we never said anything. But this accusation against Lavezzi was it. If we don't stop it today, we'll never stop it. We know that you will continue to criticize us, that's fine. However, some got into our personal lives.
"We wanted to say this in front of everyone and not release a statement. We didn't want to hide from anyone. These past two weeks were filled with personal aggression, not football criticism. You can criticize us for winning or losing, but when you get personal we will draw the line."
The star-studded Argentines have come under media pressure after a 3-0 walloping by Brazil last week, and manager Edgardo Bauza spoke to the media after Messi, saying he was happy with how the players responded.
“I told the players I’m happy for them after a week of criticism and because it wasn’t an easy match.
“Messi is a great and decisive player, he showed that in the first goal and with the others.”
Lavezzi has responded through his Twitter account that he will be suing the journalist.