Highlights

  • Lionel Messi didn't play in Inter Miami's match in Hong Kong
  • The Argentine superstar featured for 30 minutes during match in Tokyo

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Messi's no-show sparks partial refund promise from Hong Kong match organisers

Organisters Tatler Asia said they had been in talks with the government on how to resolve the issue and details of the refund arrangement would be announced by mid-March.

Messi's no-show sparks partial refund promise from Hong Kong match organisers

The organisers of a much-hyped football match that intended to showcase Lionel Messi in Hong Kong said Friday they would offer a partial refund following days of backlash from angry fans and the government over the absence of the World Cup winner.

In a statement on Friday, local organisers Tatler Asia apologised to those who were disappointed by the match and said they were upset by “the seeming lack of respect shown to the crowd.”

Tatler Asia said they had been in talks with the government on how to resolve the issue and details of the refund arrangement would be announced by mid-March.

“We will not escape our responsibility as organisers and that is why Tatler Asia will offer all those who purchased match-day tickets from the official channels a 50% refund,” it said.

The grievances from Hong Kong fans stemming from Messi staying on the bench for the full 90 minutes in the game against a local team due to a groin injury earlier this week has spread to mainland China after the Argentina star put in a 30-minute game appearance in Tokyo in Inter Miami’s latest exhibition match in Asia on Wednesday.

Over the past two days, many social media users in mainland China expressed their disappointment over Messi’s no-show, with China’s state-run newspaper, the Global Times, publishing an editorial that said the impact of the controversy surrounding the football star “has far exceeded the realm of sports.”

Tatler reiterated Friday that it had pleaded with Inter Miami’s management to urge Messi to explain to the spectators after it learned the football star, who was required to play for 45 minutes unless injured under their contract, would not be playing.

“The fact that Messi...played in Japan on February 7th feels like another slap in the face,” they said.

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