On Sunday, fans of Lionel Messi expressed dissatisfaction with the explanations regarding the team’s match in Hong Kong. Messi did not play in the team’s fifth pre-season friendly match.
During a press briefing on Monday, Kevin Yeung, Hong Kong’s government secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, expressed deep disappointment. He explained that the government’s funding agreement stipulated that Messi should have played on the field for at least 45 minutes.
The Hong Kong government provided HKD 16 million (approximately 2 million U.S. dollars) in sponsorship for the event.
The sound of “refund, refund refund” echoed through the stadium as 40,000 fans chanted for a refund. The tickets for the match cost up to HKD 624.
During the trophy presentation, David Beckham, co-owner of the club, faced boos from the fans.
After the match, Inter-Miami manager Gerard Martino apologized to the fans, explaining that they would have considered playing Messi if they had the chance. However, due to serious risks, the medical staff had to make the decision not to play him.
Despite the explanation, the public remained unsatisfied. Angry fans have gone viral, sharing clips of a fan kicking Messi’s cardboard cutout head in the stadium.