He demanded a refund and attacked Beckham. Anger in Hong Kong due to Messi not attending amicably

The company organizing the match between the Hong Kong Stars League and American football team Inter Miami signed a contract with the government to allow Argentina star Lionel Messi to play at least 45 minutes during his team's tour of Hong Kong in preparation for . new season, but the international star was absent due to injury, according to what the Sports Minister announced on Monday.

The eight-time Golden Ball winner, who is suffering from an injury to his thigh muscle, remained on the bench during the last friendly match, which ended with his team beating League Stars 4-1 in Hong Kong on Sunday .

Messi's absence drew the ire of more than 38,000 spectators who paid more than US$125 to watch their hero at the Hong Kong Stadium and demanded their money back. This was followed by cheers for one of the club's owners, Englishman David Beckham. The match ended when he tried to thank the fans.

“One of the basic funding conditions with the organizers was that Messi would participate for a minimum of 45 minutes in the match, taking into account fitness and safety,” Culture, Sport and Tourism Minister Kevin Young told a news conference.

The Hong Kong government published two consecutive statements on Sunday evening, saying it was “extremely disappointed” and warning that it would withdraw $2 million in funding from the organizing company, a British fashion and lifestyle magazine.

“Yesterday (Sunday) before the start of the match, the organizing company (Tatler Asia) confirmed that Messi will play in the second half,” the government said in a statement. On Monday, the company, in a statement, expressed regret for Argentina's absence from the match, indicating it would be giving up government funding.

Company CEO Michel Lamonoire confirmed that the contract did indeed stipulate that Messi would participate in matches unless he was injured.

In turn, Yeung, who followed the match at the stadium along with other officials including Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee, said the government contacted the organizing company more than once after Messi did not appear in the second half.

It was announced that negotiations between the two sides had ended 10 minutes before the end of the match, as the government banned Messi from entering the field to interact with the fans and receive the cup (after the match ended). Permission was refused. Address the issue.

As Messi prepares to leave Hong Kong on Monday afternoon, Yeung urged the organizing company to “provide full details” of what happened, including when they learned of Messi's injury and What decisions did he take with his club.

The company published a statement late Sunday in which it expressed its “extreme disappointment” at Messi's non-participation. “Despite some media reports, the company was not aware of (Mesy's) non-participation,” he said.

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said the team's medical staff made the decision after an evaluation on Monday morning. He added, “I wish we could have included Messi even for a short period of time, but the risk was too great.”

The captain of Argentina's 2022 World Cup-winning national team played only a few minutes in the last friendly match against Al-Nassr Saudi Arabia, which ended with his team losing 6-0, and now he is in a race against time. Let's get ready for the start of the new season, which starts on 21st February of this month.

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