The capital of China, Beijing, joined a growing number of cities on Saturday in postponing an Argentina friendly. Lionel Messi’s injury, missing last week’s match in Hong Kong, is starting to have a bigger impact.
With the declaration, the Beijing Football Association halted a friendly match between Ivory Coast and Argentina. “Beijing does not plan, for the moment, to organize the match in which Lionel Messi was to participate”.
It follows the cancellation of the Nigeria friendly by Hangzhou sports officials the day before. Lionel Messi’s absence prompted the cancellation of the friendly match between the two teams in the Chinese city.
Messi backlash grows
Messi and Inter Miami, his relatively new team, had been visiting Asia as part of their pre-season tour, before the Major League Soccer season starts later this month.
Around the same time Argetina, his national side were slated to play a series of lucrative friendlies.
The issue dates back to an Inter Miami friendly fixture played in Hong Kong.
The 36-year-old spent the whole match on the bench and did not play a single minute. The Argentine superstar had publicly declared his desire to play despite having a hamstring injury. But when he failed to appear, there was a backlash from the 40,000 sold-out spectators who had been anticipating the forward’s arrival on the pitch.
Fans who purchased tickets for the game in Hong Kong on February 4, organized by Tatler Asia, will get a 50 percent refund. Some of these tickets cost more than $640.
After Messi came off the bench for substitutions a few days later, the atmosphere continued to deteriorate. On the other hand, he saw only 30 minutes of action during a friendly match in Tokyo, Japan. Even more controversial was his half-hour appearance against Vissel Kobe of Japan, which many saw as a jab at China.
A number of nationalist Chinese politicians and media outlets voiced their concerns that the forward may have been…
Source link : https://worldsoccertalk.com/news/usa-could-host-cancelled-argentina-friendlies-20240211-WST-489005.html
Author : Martina Alcheva
Publish date : 2024-02-11 17:20:54
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