new MLS rules

Why Did Lionel Messi Have to Wait on the Sidelines According to the New MLS Rules?

A new MLS rules made Lionel Messi a frustrated figure on the sidelines as officials prevented his entry onto the pitch.

As Inter Miami was trailing 2-0 against Montreal, Lionel Messi was off the pitch during a free-kick, when the team needed him the most.

What are the New MLS Rules?

This moment added more fume to the star’s anger as an injured player should wait two minutes before entering the pitch according to the new MLS rules 2024.

Montreal defender George Campbell fouled the Argentine forward, sending him to the ground, which required medical treatment on the pitch. The situation brought the MLS’ “Off-Field Treatment Rule,” which was introduced in April, later the free-kick was given without any car issued for the play.

According to the new MLS rules: “If a player with a suspected injury remains on the ground for more than 15 seconds, the referee will stop play and wave the medical crew onto the field to evaluate the player.

“When safe, the player will be removed from the field and remain off the field for a minimum of two minutes for further assessment and treatment.”

Unable to get back in action, Messi criticizes new rules and speaks out: “With these types of rules …” This moment was widely shared on social media.

New MLS Rules
Lionel Messi (Getty Images)

However, the 36-year-old was not missed as Matías Rojas took it and scored reducing the deficit to 2-1, sparking a comeback.

What happened after match?

Miami did go on to win 3-2, making it their fifth consecutive league win and extending their unbeaten run by seven games. Luis Suárez and Benjamin Cremaschi stole the show on a night when Messi missed out, on the score sheet.

During the post-match interview, manager Gerardo Martino stepped up requesting the new MLS rules “must be revised.”

As per the rule book, the two-minute rule would not have had an immediate effect if Campbell was shown a yellow or red card for the foul on Messi.

“Exceptions to the Off-Field Treatment Rule include instances of potential head injury, goalkeeper injuries, serious medical events, and fouls resulting in yellow or red cards,” the rule states.

“In Leo’s situation, he was clearly fouled,” Martino said, ESPN. “The player deserved a yellow card, which would mean Messi would’ve never left the field for two minutes.

“As I understand it, the team that suffered the foul was punished. With these MLS rules change, there are situations that must be revised. The infraction was clear and was a yellow card, and ultimately it was us that lost Leo for two minutes.”

Also Read: