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Chinese FA erases Messi news from official site after Hong Kong friendly absence

Lionel Messi in Inter Miami kit.

The Chinese FA has scrubbed off all mentions of Lionel Messi on their official site, following his absence from a scheduled friendly match in Hong Kong.

MLS side Inter Miami and Hong Kong XI were scheduled to play a much anticipated friendly, which saw thousands of Chinese fans purchase tickets at expensive prices — all in a bid to watch Lionel Messi play live in front of them.

What happened during the Hong Kong friendly match?

According to Sun Sport, Messi did not feature in the friendly game which Inter Miami won 4-1 comfortably over the hosts.

However, in an unfortunate turn of events, this led to angry fans running riot following his absence and even vandalizing Inter Miami’s billboards in the stadium.

Even the Hong Kong Government had to intervene and issue a statement regarding the whole incident. The statement conveyed the government’s and soccer fans disappointment over Lionel Messi’s absence.

The Government of Hong Kong believes (via The Sun) that “The organizers owe all football fans an explanation”.

Chinese FA remove all Messi news following incident

Following the match and widespread fans anger, the Chinese FA has temporarily suspended all ties with the Argentine FA and Argentina national soccer team.

Yet in another shocking turn of events, Lionel Messi-related news is nowhere to be found on the Chinese FA’s website.

Why did Messi not play in Hong Kong friendly?

According to Inter Miami manager Tata Martino, the 36-year-old World Cup winner wasn’t fit enough to feature against Hong Kong XI.

But a different story is currently making waves on the internet, throwing question marks over whether Messi was fit or not for the friendly.

Just 3 days after declining to play in Hong Kong, the former PSG and Barcelona player entered the pitch in the 60th minute in a match between Inter Miami and Vissel Kobe in Japan.

Despite the US side losing that game on penalties, the major talking point was the presence of Lionel Messi on the pitch in Japan and his absence in China, further sparking talk of favoritism among angry Chinese soccer fans.

So far, Messi has missed only one preseason game in Asia with Inter Miami which happened to be against Hong Kong XI in Hong Kong.

Peter Okereke

Peter Okereke is a hardcore soccer fan and grew his passion for the beautiful game since watching Didier Drogba score the winning goal at Wembley in the 2007 FA Cup final for Chelsea against Manchester United.
He is the founder of The Soccer Report and has 4+ years of industry experience, having been writing about football since August 2019.

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