Messi friendlies cancelled by China after Hong Kong spat, Argentina to tour US | Football News - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Lionel Messi friendlies cancelled by China after Hong Kong controversy, Argentina to tour US

AFP |
Feb 23, 2024 08:00 AM IST

Lionel Messi is idolized by fans in China but stayed on the bench during Inter Miami's 4-1 win in a pre-season tour match against a Hong Kong select XI.

The Argentina Football Association (AFA) said Thursday the national team will play two friendlies in the United States in March after China cancelled matches in a spat over a Lionel Messi no-show in Hong Kong. The world champions will play El Salvador in Philadelphia on March 22 and Nigeria in Los Angeles four days later, the AFA said on its website.

Lionel Messi during Inter Miami's recent friendly in Hong Kong.(REUTERS)
Lionel Messi during Inter Miami's recent friendly in Hong Kong.(REUTERS)

They were meant to play Nigeria in Hangzhou and African champions Ivory Coast in Beijing, but these matches were cancelled after Argentina captain Messi did not play in a match on February 4 -- taken by China as a political snub.

Unlock exclusive access to the story of India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now!

Also Read | Dani Alves got financial backing from Neymar to continue defence of sexual assault case: Report

The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner is idolized by fans in China but stayed on the bench during Inter Miami's 4-1 win in a pre-season tour match against a Hong Kong select XI.

A near 40,000 sellout crowd, having paid upwards of 1,000 Hong Kong dollars ($125) to see the 36-year-old superstar in action, chanted "Refund!", gave thumbs-down signs and booed Messi and the team's co-owner David Beckham after the final whistle.

Messi insists his absence was forced by injury. The United States will host the Copa America in June and July, where Argentina will seek to retain the crown it took in Brazil in 2021.

Catch all the Latest Football matches score updates alongwith EPL 2024 Schedule , ISL 2024 Schedule and other related updates on ISL 2024 Points table on The Hindustan Times website and App
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On