Football Association of Uruguay (AUF) has acquired the services of Lionel Messi’s former lawyer Ariel Reck to contest charges filed against its players by FIFA.

FIFA had launched legal proceedings against several of Uruguay’s players namely Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin, Fernando Muslera and Edinson Cavani after they angrily confronted the referee after being knocked out of the World Cup despite beating Ghana in their final group match.

The players took exception to Daniel Siebert’s refereeing of the game, surrounding the German after the final whistle. Cavani also knocked over the VAR review screen in anger while leaving the field.

As a result, FIFA opened separate investigations against the four players and the AUF itself.

“We told him (Reck) when FIFA notified us and he immediately started to work,” Gaston Tealdi, vice-president of the AUF, told a local news outlet.

“It’s going to take a little while to know the sanction and even longer now that Uruguay are not in the World Cup. It could be a month, up to two months, even three,” Tealdi added.

The AUF has 10 days to make a statement of defence. The penalties from FIFA could be anywhere from a slap on the wrist to economic sanctions and sporting fines.

Uruguay is one of the countries involved in South America’s bid for the 2030 World Cup which their actions could have a negative impact on.

Reck, meanwhile, has worked with Uruguay before and was also the lawyer responsible for overturning Messi’s ban by FIFA.

The Argentinian was given a three-match suspension for insulting a referee in a clash against Chile in 2017 but Reck got the ruling overturned and Messi returned to playing in the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.