Messi’s “No Show” faction even the Hong Kong government directly expressed its position, saying, “I’m so disappointed.”


Hong Kong is seething. The cause provider is “Football Emperor” Lionel Messi.

The Hong Kong government issued a statement on Monday, saying, “We are deeply disappointed by Messi’s absence.” It also added that it will cut funding to Tatler Asia, the host of the friendly match.

The problem lies in Messi’s “no-show.” Messi did not play in a friendly match against the Hong Kong Premier League All-Star team held at the Hong Kong Stadium on Monday. Hong Kong fans flocked to see him, filling the 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium, but Messi did not play until the end of the match.

There was a reason. Messi did not play due to a hamstring injury. He revealed his possibility through stretching in an open training session on the previous day, but the Inter Miami bench judged that Messi could not play.

However, Inter Miami reportedly included a requirement for Messi to play for 45 minutes when signing a contract with the organizers. Despite this, Messi’s refusal to play is entirely up to Messi himself. Messi’s side informed him that Messi will not be able to play with only 15 minutes left before the game begins.

Not aware of this, 40,000 Hong Kong spectators anxiously waited to see when Messi would be on the bench. When Messi was not on the stage at the end of the match, he shouted “refund” and even shouted for him to run for a moment. However, Messi was still on the bench even after the match. Inter Miami Inter’s owner David Beckham greeted him with a mic, but Hong Kong fans booed him.

Messi did not step on the ground at the end. Fans raised voices of strong protest, with their thumbs down to Beckham. “About 40,000 fans started chanting ‘Messi come out!'” AFP reported when Messi showed no signs of participating even after the middle of the second half.

Messi is not the only one who missed the match without prior notice. Luis Suárez also did not get up from the bench due to a knee injury. Suárez is also being criticized for appearing in matches with Tata Martino at a press conference in advance. Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets only entered the stadium in the second half and played for a while. Messi and other former FC Barcelona players were popular stars, and fans in Hong Kong who visited the stadium to see them were disappointed.

A big Messi fan said on the U.S. media CNN, “I didn’t expect Messi to be absent. I thought he would participate for at least five minutes. If I knew this would happen, we wouldn’t have paid for such a ticket,” adding, “We promoted Messi in Hong Kong. Everyone was excited. However, Saturday’s training was short and I didn’t show much. I thought it would be different today, but I am very disappointed.”

Inter Miami manager Gerardo Martino said in an interview after the game, “I know many fans are disappointed, but I ask for forgiveness. I thought I should let them run for a while, but the risk was too high.”

“The decision not to appoint Messi was made very late. I did not allow Messi to play as the club’s medical staff recommended,” he said. “I understand the fans’ reaction to Messi and Suarez’s absence. However, the decision was made after consulting with our medical staff. Messi has inflammation of his thigh adductor muscle. He expected his recovery but has been worsening for several days. Suarez injured his knee during a match in Saudi Arabia.”

Then, Martino said, “We constantly checked with the medical team. We had to consider the upcoming Major League Soccer (MLS) schedule. In the end, we decided not to let Messi play,” adding, “We conducted last-minute training a day ago, and checked until the morning of the game. The final decision was not made until the afternoon.”

Organizers of the event heavily promoted Messi’s participation in the event and priced high-priced tickets. The cheapest seats were priced at 880 Hong Kong dollars, while the highest was 4,880 Hong Kong dollars. Even this, ticket sales opened in December last year and the tickets were sold out in an hour, demonstrating Messi’s feverish popularity. “A match in which Messi does not play is no different from an ordinary Hong Kong football league game worth 80 Hong Kong dollars. Tickets for the friendly match were 5,000 Hong Kong dollars,” one fan said.

Hong Kong All-Star players who wanted to compete with Messi are also very disappointed. “I am disappointed that I can’t play against Messi. Personally, I feel sorry for Messi as he doesn’t visit Hong Kong often,” Hong said. “But I was satisfied because I was able to play in a packed stadium.”

Fans are not the only ones who are angry. The Hong Kong government also stood up. For the friendly match, the Hong Kong government designated it as a major sports event and provided 15 million Hong Kong dollars to Tatler Asia. It also paid 1 million Hong Kong dollars as a subsidy for the use of the stadium. 라바카지노

The Hong Kong government said, “The event organizer must explain to fans about Messi’s absence. The government and fans are quite disappointed with the event organizers,” and issued a statement condemning Tatler Asia, saying, “As Messi did not play, the Sports Events Committee will also take follow-up measures regarding the deduction of donations made by the event organizers.” A Hong Kong legislator also criticized, “Messi did not participate in the event and did not have any communication with fans. Messi and Inter Miami lack respect for Hong Kong people.” As the controversy grew, Tatler Asia said it was unfair that he had not been contacted in advance.

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