Inter Miami's Lionel Messi reacts to the booing of fans in Hong Kong



by SEAD DEDOVIC

Inter Miami's Lionel Messi reacts to the booing of fans in Hong Kong
© Kenta Harada / Getty Images Sport

Inter Miami recently played a friendly match against Hong Kong XI, emerging victorious with a score of 1-4. The game, held in Hong Kong, generated excitement upon its official announcement. Tickets, priced at 100 pounds, were impatiently purchased by fans, largely driven by the anticipation of witnessing the great Argentine player, Leo Messi, who is a member of Inter Miami. Disappointingly, Messi did not participate in the match, leading to fan protests in the stands.

There are claims that an independent organizer was paid £1.5 million to arrange the match against Hong Kong XI, and Messi's involvement was reportedly a crucial element of the deal. In an interview with the media, Messi, an experienced Argentine player, clarified that despite his strong desire to play and fulfill the expectations of Hong Kong fans, he was unable to do so due to an injury.

"Unfortunately, in football, things can happen in any game, that we may have an injury. It happened to me,” said Messi, as quoted by eurosport.com
“I couldn't play in the Hong Kong match, and it was a shame because I always wanted to participate. I wanted to be there, and even more so when it came to these games when we travelled so far and people were so excited to see our matches."

Leo Messi hopes that the future holds different stories. The Argentine expects that such a match will be arranged again, in which he will participate this time. He is aware of how much the fans in Hong Kong love him, and he wants to repay them in the best possible way. 

Lionel Messi on the bench
Lionel Messi on the bench© Fred Lee / Getty Images Sport
 

Messi is certainly one of the most popular players in the world, given the qualities he has shown over the years. Considering the injury, Leo still does not know if he will be ready for the next match against Inter Miami. Optimism never diminishes, and therefore Messi believes that he will be able to help the team in the next match.

“I hope we can return and we can play another game and I can play, as I do whenever I can. But the truth is that it is a shame that I was not able to participate. The truth is that I feel very good compared to a few days ago, and depending on how that (training) goes [I could play on Wednesday]. If I'm honest, I still don't know if I will be able to play or not, but I feel much better and I really want to be able to play."

Hong Kong government decided to react: We reiterate our request for Messi to play in the match

The Hong Kong government decided to react after the end of the match, considering the dissatisfaction that followed. They asked the organizer for an explanation for Messi's absence. They demanded that the Argentine at least talk to the fans after the match. However, their demands were not met. We will see if there will be any consequences here for the organizers.

"We reiterate our request for Messi to play in the match, about 10 minutes before the match ended,” said Kevin Yeung.
“The organiser confirmed that Messi could not play.
We therefore immediately requested them to explore other remedies, such as Messi appearing in the field to interact with his fans, and receiving the trophy. Unfortunately, as you all see, this did not work out."

Kevin Yeung is saying two important things. First, the government keeps asking the people who organized the event to explain exactly what went wrong during the match and to share the details of the agreement they had with the team. This agreement implied several key points, which were obviously not fulfilled.

Second, he's wondering why, even though the government has been talking to the organizers and making suggestions and requests, nothing has actually been done. It shows that he's concerned about being open and honest about what happened with Messi and how the match was handled.

When you have dissatisfaction among the fans, then you certainly have to find out who is the main culprit in the whole story, and what caused such an outcome. The best option at the moment is to arrange this match again in a few months, this time with Messi on the field. We will see if the organizers manage to bring Inter Miami to Hong Kong again. 

Watching one of the best of this game is the dream of every football fan. Although their wish did not come true this time, there are chances that in a few months, they will have the opportunity to see Messi. However, these are still only presumptions.

Lionel Messi