Anger with Messi complicates Chinese tour

The organizer of the Inter Miami match in Hong Kong last week, where Lionel Messi was expected to attend, will refund 50% of tickets following widespread anger over the fact that the Argentine player did not take the field due to an injury, but will play in Japan days later.

Tatler Asia, a private publishing and lifestyle company, said in a statement on its Instagram page that it was “deeply sorry” and “heartbroken” that fans felt let down after Messi was left on the bench for Sunday’s game.

The match in Hong Kong attracted 40,000 fans, some of whom paid almost HK$5,000 (US$640) per ticket. All match day tickets purchased through official channels can get a 50% refund, Tatler said.

But Messi’s absence not only caused that million-dollar return. The friendly matches that the Argentine team has scheduled in two Chinese stadiums on the FIFA date in March were left in doubt yesterday, because one of them was canceled by the authorities of the city of Hangzhou.

Although there were no clarifications as to why the government of that city had made the decision, several media outlets reported that it was related to the Rosario’s foul last Sunday against a Hong Kong team.

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