2024.02.20 18:14World eye

メッシ、香港戦欠場の理由は負傷 「政治的な理由」は否定

2024.02.20 18:14World eye

Messi insists Hong Kong no-show was due to injury, not politics

Argentine football star Lionel Messi insisted Monday that his absence from a match in Hong Kong two weeks ago that drew the ire of spectators was not a snub but prompted by injury.
In a video posted on China's Weibo social media platform, Messi rejected chatter that his no-show was for political reasons and said if this had been the case, I would not have traveled to Hong Kong in the first place.
As everyone knows, I always want to play and be in every game, he said.
The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner stayed on the bench throughout Inter Miami's 4-1 win against a Hong Kong select XI on February 4.
His no-show drew boos and calls for refunds from thousands of fans who had shelled out large sums to see the World Cup-winning captain play in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
Widely considered the best player of his generation, Messi is a highly marketable sportsman who people around the world will pay top dollar to see, even in the twilight of his trophy-laden career.
Some nationalist politicians and outlets interpreted Messi's absence -- and his subsequent appearance at a similar match in Japan -- as a snub to China, without offering evidence.
Sports bosses in China subsequently canceled two friendly matches featuring world champions Argentina.
Messi spoke in his video of a very nice and very close relationship with China, a country with which he said he had done a lot of things including matches and events.
His reason for not playing, the star striker said, was due to injury, specifically inflammation of an adductor muscle.