Messi controversy leads to match cancellation in China
The planned friendly match in China involving the Argentina National Team has been canceled due to backlash over star player Lionel Messi. The match, intended for March against Nigeria in Hangzhou, was called off following reactions to Messi's absence from a match in Hong Kong last week.
The decision came after Messi, playing for Inter Miami, did not appear in a special match in Hong Kong, sparking discontent among Chinese fans. His subsequent 30-minute play in Tokyo against Vissel Kobe further fueled the controversy.
The Hangzhou Sports Office announced that the conditions were not right for the Argentina vs. Nigeria match due to "known reasons," leading to its cancellation.
The Argentine Football Association is reportedly seeking an alternative location to play against Nigeria, while plans for a friendly match against Ivory Coast in Beijing remain unchanged.
Fans who purchased tickets for the canceled match between Inter Miami and a Hong Kong regional team were informed they would receive a refund of half the ticket price.