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Lionel Messi backlash leads to cancellation of Argentina tour of China


Feb 11, 2024

Lionel Messi and Inter Miami faced criticism in China after Messi missed a game against Hong Kong XI. The cancellation of Argentina’s planned friendlies in March against China was a result of Messi’s absence from the game with Hong Kong XI. The canceled friendlies were the Argentina-Nigeria game and the second game against Ivory Coast.

The Beijing Football Association announced that they would not be organizing the game in which Messi was supposed to participate. Messi had missed the friendly game against Hong Kong XI due to an adductor injury, which led to outrage among fans and the government. Both the event organizers and Inter Miami released statements apologizing for Messi’s absence.

The event organizers had reportedly been guaranteed that Messi, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, and Luis Suárez would play at least 45 minutes of the game unless they were injured. Suárez was also injured and did not play. Fans who attended the game against Hong Kong XI are set to receive a 50% refund, as announced by Tatler Asia.

Messi did, however, play for 30 minutes against Vissel Kobe in Tokyo, concluding Inter Miami’s Asian tour. While the March international break friendlies won’t be held in China, there is still a possibility that the games against Nigeria and Ivory Coast could be played, as the Argentinian Football Association is reportedly looking into different locations for the matches.

By Editor

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