Argentina, Nigeria Friendly Match Canceled As Backlash Over Messi’s No-Show Grows

MESSI 3

LAGOS FEBRUARY 11TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Last week during an Inter Miami CF friendly match in Hong Kong, Lionel Messi did not take the pitch, which resulted in a backlash from furious fans. Now, the Chinese sporting authorities have canceled a friendly match between Argentina and Nigeria, which was scheduled to be played next month.

During the international break from March 18 to 26, the Argentine national team were scheduled to play friendly matches against Nigeria in Hangzhou and Ivory Coast in Beijing.

“As a commercial event, a company negotiated with the Argentine football team to come to Hangzhou for a friendly match in March this year,” the Hangzhou authorities said in a statement. “In view of the currently well-known reasons, it is understood from the competent authorities that the conditions for holding the event are not mature, and the decision has been made to cancel the event.”

The friendly match between Argentina and Ivory Coast is still scheduled to proceed.

Messi’s Hong Kong no-show

Messi’s absence from a local Hong Kong XI match due to a groin injury on Sunday angered fans. The fans were visibly frustrated and were chanting ‘refund’ during the match once it was obvious Messi would not play.

However, the fans were further outraged when he played for 30 minutes against Vissel Kobe in Tokyo on Wednesday, showing few signs of an alleged injury.

The organizers of the friendly soccer match in Hong Kong have acknowledged the backlash from fans who attended the match to catch a glimpse of their favorite soccer star. As a gesture of goodwill, they have offered a 50% refund to those who purchased tickets for the game. On average, each ticket cost $624 dollars.

Messi and Inter Miami apologize

In a news conference a day after the Hong Kong game, Messi said that he has been dealing with a hip adductor injury and it was causing discomfort which prevented him to play.

Inter Miami also sent a statement to Reuters to apologize for Messi and Luis Suarez’s absence.

“We also recognize that the late decision caused frustration among our Hong Kong supporters and the event promoter, Tatler Asia. We do feel it necessary to express that injuries are unfortunately a part of the beautiful game, and our player’s health must always come first,” Inter Miami said in a statement.

USA Today

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Posted by on Feb 11 2024. Filed under National, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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