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Lionel Messi’s No-Show Leaves Football Fans Fuming, Demands for Refunds Echo at Hong Kong Stadium

Fans booed and demanded refund v2

Disappointment filled the air at Hong Kong Stadium on Sunday as football fans were left longing for a glimpse of the legendary Lionel Messi. The highly anticipated exhibition match between Messi’s Inter Miami team and a Hong Kong XI turned sour when the Argentine maestro failed to take the field, leaving spectators chanting for their money back.

The discontent among the crowd was palpable as chants of “We want Messi” and “refund” echoed through the stadium. Fans expressed their frustration, some even going so far as to label the event a “scam.” Recognizing the disappointment shared by the spectators, the government issued a statement demanding an explanation from the organizers.

A government spokesperson emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating that the Major Sports Events Committee would investigate the matter further. Failure to provide a satisfactory explanation could result in a demand for the return of a portion of the grant awarded to the event. The statement revealed that the event had received an esteemed “M” status as well as a generous grant of HK$15 million, along with an additional HK$1 million for the venue.

Inter Miami head coach Gerardo Martino shed light on Messi’s absence, citing muscle inflammation that had plagued the superstar throughout the week. Concerns for Messi’s well-being led to a decision not to risk the Argentine’s participation, despite the disappointment it would cause to eager fans.

Former financial secretary John Tsang, who was present at the match, encapsulated the prevailing sentiment among supporters. He expressed understanding for the fans’ disappointment, stating, “I think generally, everybody is disappointed that Messi did not show up in the end, that he was not substituted in. People are generally disappointed about that, and I can understand their feeling.”

On the field, the home team showcased their mettle in the first half, holding their own and reaching halftime with a 1-1 scoreline. However, a series of changes made by Hong Kong XI head coach Jorn Andersen during halftime failed to stem the tide as Inter Miami seized control in the second half, scoring three additional goals to secure a commanding victory.

While the match itself may have concluded with an emphatic outcome, the absence of Lionel Messi left a bittersweet taste in the mouths of football enthusiasts. The disappointment felt by fervent fans serves as a reminder that even the most anticipated events can fall short of expectations when unforeseen circumstances arise.