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A big problem surrounds Messi's tour with Inter Miami

A big problem surrounds Messi's tour with Inter Miami

Inter Miami's global stadium tour should bring good PR and solidification for the young brand. Inter stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were supposed to chant. But things are not smooth at all. The PR is basically poor, similar to Inter Miami's success rates. The club has lost four out of five matches so far, which were played in El Salvador, the United States, Saudi Arabia and most recently in Hong Kong.

They won in Hong Kong, but here, of all places, the fans were the angriest. Banners were raised, many fans even demanded refunds for not-so-cheap tickets, and there was also a chorus of boos. Because Messi and Suarez did not play, they were sidelined due to injury. But they didn't devote a single minute of their time to the fans either.

Not only were the fans looking forward to the friendly match, but many tourists also came to Hong Kong specifically, the Chinese Special Administrative Region government announced after the final whistle. She added: “The government and all football fans are very disappointed that Messi was unable to play in the friendly match or provide a personal explanation to the fans upon request.”

Hong Kong Sports Minister Kevin Yeung also formally called for an explanation. In a press conference, he said that Messi is contractually obligated to play at least 45 minutes unless there are safety or health concerns. Young said that during the match, government officials were repeatedly assured that Messi would be used. “We immediately asked them to look for other solutions, such as Messi appearing on the field to talk to the fans and accept the trophy,” Young said. This didn't work.

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Inter Miami coach Gerardo Martino apologized for Messi's absence after the match in Hong Kong. “We understand the fans' disappointment due to the absence of Leo (Messi, note) and Luis Suarez,” Martino said. “We understand that many fans are very disappointed and apologise. We wish we could have sent Leo and Louis away for at least a while, but the risk was too great.” The next match is on Wednesday in Japan, but it is unclear whether Messi will play then.