Lionel Messi says ‘no political reasons’ behind missing football friendly in China; Watch

Lionel Messi has faced harsh criticism from Chinese fans for missing Inter Miami’s friendly game in Hong Kong earlier this month, and he recently took to social media to clarify the reasons for his absence.

Messi refuted rumours that his absence was “for political reasons” in a video that was uploaded on China’s Weibo social media site. He said that he “‘would not have travelled” to Hong Kong in the first place if this had been the case.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner said, “As everyone knows, I always want to play and be in every game.” He added, “I have heard people say that I didn’t want to play for political reasons and many other reasons that are totally untrue. If that was the case, I wouldn’t have travelled to Japan or China as many times as I have.”

As part of their tour, Inter Miami’s Messi was set to play on February 4 against a Hong Kong select XI. However, the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner sat on Miami’s bench the whole match as the MLS team won 4-1.

His absence from the pitch ended with whistles and boos from the thousands of fans who had paid high prices to see the World Cup-winning Argentine in Hong Kong.

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 Privacy & Cookies Policy