The match between Inter Miami against Hong Kong XI – a combination of footballers from the local league – was eagerly awaited by the locals for one main reason: see Lionel Messi. However, the Argentine star could not play as a result of an injury and now Tatler Asia, the organizing company, offers the refund of 50% of the value of the tickets to disappointed fans.
But the disappointment of the fans was great when they found out that the best player in the world would not be in the game. Due to a injurythe Argentine was not present in what was the victory of the American team against the local team by 3-1.
Criticism of Messi and Inter Miami exploded a few days after the match. The fact is that, after complaining of physical discomfort in Hong Kong, the Argentine entered the friendly for 30 minutes. that his team played in Japan just 3 days later.
From Tatler Asiathe event’s promoter company, stated that “the fact that Messi and (Luis) Suárez played in Japan on February 7 It seems like another slap in the face to us.“. After the barrage of complaints, the company reached an agreement with the Hong Kong Government to refund 50% of the ticket price – for which fans came to pay $700 USD-to those fans who were disappointed.
Chinese state media and Hong Kong politicians quickly joined the criticism expressed by fans. Even the state-controlled Global Times newspaper wrote that Messi’s absence raised many questions about “differential treatment for Hong Kong“.
Furthermore, in an official statement the Hong Kong government stated that the return of the money showed that Tatler Asia had done everything possible to arrange the refund. From the organization, they justified their anger by stating that Inter Miami “was committed to ensuring“that their main players, including Messi and Suárez, will play”45 minutes unless injured“.
What Lionel Messi said about the controversy
“It was bad luck that I couldn’t be at the game in Hong Kong. In the first game of the tour in Arabia I felt discomfort in my adductor. I went out and in the second friendly I played a few minutes to test myself because I had had an MRI and I had an edema in my adductor“, explained the Argentine about the controversy of his absence.
“In it previous trainingwhen we arrived in Hong Kong, the discomfort continued. “I always want to play but it was very difficult for me,” Messi said. Despite the criticism, the Argentine was able to play. 30 minutes in his next commitment in Japanwhen his team faced the Vissel Kobe in Tokyo.
After the tour of Asia, Lionel Messi will have one more friendly against Newell’s Old Boys, the club of his loves. The match will be played on Next February 15 at the DRV PNK Stadiumthe stadium where the Florida team is home.
Once the last preseason game has been played, the Miami team will face the final stretch of preparation for its official debut of the season on Wednesday February 21, against Real Salt Lake. On the other hand, we will have to wait until the end of March to see Lionel Messi again with the Argentina national team t-shirtat which time the world champion team will face China.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.