Argentina-China friendly set for March scrapped after Messi Hong Kong no-show controversy

Zhu Qing
The Hangzhou Sports Bureau has canceled a friendly match involving the Argentina national football team in Hangzhou for March, according to its statement released late Friday.
Zhu Qing
Argentina-China friendly set for March scrapped after Messi Hong Kong no-show controversy
Reuters

Inter Miami CF forward Lionel Messi (center) reacts to a miss against Vissel Kobe during the second half of a preseason friendly at Japan National Stadium, Tokyo, Japan, February 7.

A planned friendly match featuring Argentina's national football team, including star player Lionel Messi, has been scrapped due to "well-known reasons," according to a statement released Friday by the Hangzhou Sports Bureau.

"Due to recent developments, the environment is not suitable for holding the event," the statement said, without elaborating on the specific reasons.

A Hangzhou company had earlier secured a deal to bring the Argentine team, including Messi, for a friendly match in March.

Messi's participation in a match in Japan on Wednesday after staying on the bench just days earlier in a highly anticipated game in Hong Kong has aroused wide-spread controversy.

Many in Hong Hong were dismayed when the 36-year-old did not come onto the field during a much hyped Inter Miami match in front of a sell-out crowd, with fans demanding answers and a refund.

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