China News Service, Beijing, February 19th. On the evening of the 19th, Messi released a video on his personal social media, appearing in response to the previous incident of not playing in the Hong Kong exhibition game. Now, 15 days have passed since the match day on February 4th.

  Video screenshot

  Messi said: "I have read and heard a lot of things that were said after the game in Hong Kong, China. I wanted to record this video to give the true situation, and hope that everyone will not continue to see false news."

  Regarding some rumors that he failed to play in Hong Kong, Messi said that they were not true.

  "Since the beginning of my career, I have had a very close and special relationship with China. The interviews, games and activities here have left me with wonderful memories. As a player, I have also played here many times for FC Barcelona and the national team. Participate.”

Messi at the Hong Kong exhibition match. Photo by Hou Yu

  "The real story is that I had adductor inflammation and I felt it before the first friendly in Saudi Arabia, so I couldn't play. In the second game (in Saudi Arabia), I tried to play for a while. , but it got worse. Then the day before the (Hong Kong, China) game, I tried to go out for training and try my best for all the fans who came to watch the training. I did my best and also attended the end of training to talk to the kids. Football interactive class. But I really can’t play, I feel uncomfortable and there is a risk of aggravating the injury.”

  "After a few days, the injury felt a little better, which is why I played for a while in Japan. I hope to regain some form for the league that will start soon."

  Messi said it was important to talk about it again now, in the face of all the false information. "I have a special affection for the Chinese fans and will continue to do so. I hope to meet again soon."

Messi came on as a substitute in an exhibition match in Japan.

Event review

  On December 15 last year, tickets for Inter Miami’s Hong Kong exhibition match were sold out within one hour of opening.

  On February 2, 2024, Messi and the Inter Miami team arrived in Hong Kong, and the players left the field before the welcome ceremony was over.

  On February 4, the organizer's match list showed Messi as a substitute. One minute before the opening, Messi did not appear in the game list released by Inter Miami and did not appear in the end.

  On February 5, the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, Yang Yunxiong, revealed that 10 minutes before the end of the game, the organizer confirmed that Messi could not play. The SAR government immediately took a series of remedial actions, such as asking the organizer whether Messi could be contacted. Xi personally explained to the fans and accepted the award on behalf of the team, but did not do any of this.

  On February 6, Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive Lee Ka-chiu stated that the Hong Kong SAR government would urge the organizers to actively respond to the appeals of fans who purchased tickets and provide a detailed explanation of the incident.

  On February 6, Hong Kong Legislative Council member Fok Qi-gang said that Messi’s past achievements in the football world are unquestionable and deserve our respect. However, with the way this game was handled, he believed that Hong Kong fans did not feel respected.

  On February 6, Messi attended the press conference alone in Tokyo. He revealed that he felt discomfort in his adductor muscles during the first game in Saudi Arabia, and although an MRI showed it was not an injury, he still felt discomfort. "Many people came to the scene in Hong Kong and I wanted to play. It's a pity that something like this happened in the football world. I hope I will have the opportunity to play in Hong Kong in the future."

  On February 7, 3 minutes before the start of Inter Miami’s Japan exhibition match, Messi’s Weibo account posted, “I was unable to play in the friendly match in Hong Kong due to a groin injury. My injury was swollen and painful. Understood. My friends will know that I want to give it my all in every game, especially being away from home with my teammates, and the fans are looking forward to seeing us healthy."

  On the evening of February 7, an exhibition match between Inter Miami and Vissel Kobe was held in Tokyo. Messi not only came on as a substitute, but also performed actively. The game against the Hong Kong Stars of China on the evening of the 4th became the only game in which Messi was absent from Inter Miami's six exhibition games.

  On February 9, Tatler Asia, the organizer of the exhibition match between Inter Miami and Hong Kong Stars, issued a statement stating that it would not evade its responsibilities as an event organizer and would provide a 50% refund to the public who purchased tickets through official channels. payment. Details of refund arrangements will be notified separately before mid-March.

  On the evening of February 9, the Hangzhou Municipal Sports Bureau’s WeChat public account “Hangzhou Sports” issued a statement saying that due to currently well-known reasons, the conditions for the Argentine football team to come to Hangzhou for a friendly match in March this year are not mature, and it has decided to cancel the event.

  On February 10, the Beijing Football Association issued the "Statement on Messi's coming to Beijing to compete." The statement stated that many fans and netizen friends have recently asked for information about Messi coming to Beijing to compete. According to verification, Beijing currently has no plans to host related games in which Messi will participate. Two consecutive statements mean that the way for the Argentine national team to come to China in March has been blocked. (over)