The proposed friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Argentina has been called off due to the fallout from Lionel Messi’s absence from his club, Inter Miami, in Hong Kong.
DailyMail on Friday said Messi was expected to participate in an exhibition match between Inter Miami and a Hong Kong XI. Still, he did not play, leading to disappointment and anger among fans.
This disappointment extended to plans for Argentina’s upcoming matches against Nigeria in Hangzhou and Cote d’Ivoire in Beijing.
Following Messi’s absence in Hong Kong, organisers offered fans a 50% refund for tickets, but dissatisfaction persisted.
As a result, Hangzhou sports authorities announced the cancellation of the friendly match.
In their statement, Hangzhou authorities explained that despite negotiations between a company and the Argentinian soccer team for the friendly match, current circumstances have made hosting the event unfeasible.
In a statement, Hangzhou authorities, said, “As a commercial event, a company and the Argentinian soccer team negotiated that the team would play a friendly match in March this year in the city of Hangzhou.
“In view of the current well-known reasons, according to the competent authorities, conditions to hold the friendly match are not mature, therefore (we) have decided to cancel it.”
This cancellation is a setback for the longstanding history of friendlies between Nigeria and Argentina, who have also faced each other in multiple World Cups.
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