Lionel Messi has been suspended 4 games by FIFA -- and slapped with a $10k fine -- for "directing insulting words" at a ref during a match last week ... the soccer federation announced.
Messi got into with a referee during the Argentina vs. Chile match on March 23. Messi, who was frustrated he wasn't receiving calls, blew up on an official late in the game.
FIFA's disciplinary committee investigated Messi's actions, and found him guilty Tuesday ... before handing down the suspension and fine.
As for the games Messi will miss ... the first is a match Tuesday against Bolivia. The remaining suspension will be served during Argentina's World Cup qualifying matches.