Lionel Messi: Followers angered as World Cup winner fails to play in Hong Kong

Lionel Messsi sits on the bench during a friendly match in Hong Kong

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Lionel Messi (centre) joined Inter Miami last summer from Paris St-Germain and is contracted to the Major League Soccer side until 2025

Angry fans in Hong Kong booed Inter Miami during a pre-season friendly after Lionel Messi did not play.

The Argentina World Cup winner, 36, who had a hamstring injury, was left on the bench as Inter beat a local League XI 4-1 in front of almost 40,000 fans.

There were chants of “refund”, while a speech by Inter co-owner David Beckham was drowned out by booing.

The Hong Kong government said match organisers Tatler Asia may face a reduction in funding.

“Regarding Messi not playing the match today, the government, as well as all football fans, are extremely disappointed about the organisers’ arrangement. The organiser owes all football fans an explanation,” the government’s major sports events committee (MSEC) said.

“The MSEC will take follow-up actions with the organiser according to the terms and conditions, which includes reducing the amount of funding…

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