The Hong Kong government will cut off the organizers’ dollars if Messi does not play

The Hong Kong government expressed its disappointment that Lionel Messi did not play for Inter Miami against the Hong Kong XI. Messi did not play a single minute in the ‘hybrid friendly match’ held at the Hong Kong Stadium on Sunday.


The Hong Kong government provided a grant to the organizers for this match. It has been indicated to deduct money from there.


Inter Miami is on a pre-season tour in Asia ahead of the start of the new Major League Soccer (MLS) season. Even with the team, Messi is not playing much due to a hamstring injury. Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain played only 6 minutes in the match against Saudi Arabia’s Al Nasr last Thursday night.


However, Miami coach Gerard Martino hinted to play Messi before the match against Hong Kong’s selected XI. Enthusiasm among Hong Kong football fans to watch the match was also huge. According to AFP, the audience bought tickets by spending 1,000 Hong Kong dollars (about 14,000 rupees in Bangladeshi currency). The 38,000 capacity stadium was packed. But Messi, whose enthusiasm to watch the game, was not brought down. Luis Suarez was also not played. From midway through the second half, the crowd started chanting for a ‘refund’. The Miami coach apologized to the fans for not playing Messi at the end of the match after the uproar.


According to ESPN, the Hong Kong government is unhappy with host Tatler Asia for not playing Messi. A statement from the government said, “Government and football fans are very disappointed with the action of the organizers for not playing Messi.” All football fans demand an explanation from the organizers.


According to the statement, Hong Kong’s Major Sports Events Committee (MSEC) donated a total of 1.5 million Hong Kong dollars (19 million 20 thousand US dollars), including 1 million for the venue, for the Miami-Hong Kong eleventh match. Now it has been reported that the money paid to the organizers will be deducted, “MSEC will take further measures in view of the terms reached with the organizers, which include the reduction of the amount of funds if Messi does not play.”


The statement also claimed that the organizers did not know about Messi and Suarez not playing due to injury, “Despite the media reports, Tatler Asia did not know any information about Messi and Suarez not playing before the match

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