SportsDay - Africa's Elite Sports Daily
A place where you need to follow for what happening in world cup

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

Hong Kong frown at Messi no show in friendly seek refund

0 14

- Advertisement -

After failing to win any of their first four preseason games, Inter Miami finally registered a victory as they beat Hong Kong XI 4-1 on Sunday, but star attraction Lionel Messi’s absence prompted the country’s government to express its disappointment.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, who is reportedly struggling with a hamstring injury, was not included in Inter Miami’s matchday squad despite head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino telling a news conference on Friday that Messi was “likely” to feature in the game.

Martino also elected to leave the team’s three other former Barcelona stars  Sergio Busquets, Luis Suárez and Jordi Alba  on the bench from the start in Hong Kong.

Spectators chanted “refund,” and the Hong Kong government said match organisers Tatler Asia may face a reduction in funding after Messi stayed on the bench during the match.

- Advertisement -

The Major Sports Events Committee (MSEC) had granted 15 million Hong Kong dollars ($1.92 million) for the event along with a grant of 1 million Hong Kong dollars for the venue, the government said in a statement.

“Regarding Messi not playing the match today, the Government, as well as all football fans, are extremely disappointed about the organisers’ arrangement. The organiser owes all football fans an explanation,” they said.

“The MSEC will take follow-up actions with the organiser according to the terms and conditions, which includes reducing the amount of funding as a result of Messi not playing the match.”

Read Also: U-17 WWCQ: Flamingos thrash Central African Republic 6-0 in Douala

- Advertisement -

The organisers said they expected Messi and Suarez to play and were extremely disappointed that they did not feature in the match.

“Despite some news reports, Tatler did not have any information about the non-participation of Messi or Suarez prior to kick off,” they said in a statement.

“Messi and Suarez were deemed unfit to play by their team’s medical department, to everyone’s, including our, disappointment.”

Martino said playing Messi and Suarez could have posed a risk of aggravating their injuries.

- Advertisement -

“Well, Leo has swelling in the adductor [muscle]. … When we sat down with the medical team they voiced their view that it was very risky for this footballer to play today,” he told reporters. “In Luis’ case, he has a problem with his knee. He woke up swollen after the second match in [Saudi] Arabia. So he wasn’t fit for today’s match.

“We understand the disappointment from the crowd who came to the stadium today that Leo and Luis were absent,” he added.

Sunday’s victory was Inter Miami’s first in five preseason games. Following defeats to FC Dallas and Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal, Inter Miami were thrashed 6-0 by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr on Thursday. However, the Portuguese forward missed the match after picking up a calf injury.

The MLS side continue their preseason tour when they face Vissel Kobe on Wednesday in Japan.

- Advertisement -

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

- Advertisement -

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More