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90 minutes on the bench: Frustrated Messi fans get their money back

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90 minutes on the bench: Frustrated Messi fans get their money back

Exercise on the bench for 90 minutes

Frustrated Messi fans get money back

As of: 10:50 a.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes

While Lionel Messi (l.) sat on the bench for 90 minutes in Hong Kong, a few days later he at least played half for Inter Miami against Vissel Kobe

What: REUTERS

For days, football fans in Hong Kong have been upset about not having seen superstar Lionel Messi play. The dissatisfaction grew when the world champion played in Japan. Now fans can hope for a bit of compensation.

A few days had to pass before a solution was apparently found. After the anger of angry fans over the canceled appearance of football star Lionel Messi in Hong Kong, the organizer has announced a partial refund.

“We will not shirk our responsibilities as organizers and therefore Tatler Asia will offer a 50 percent refund to everyone who purchased a matchday ticket through official channels,” the organizer wrote on its Facebook page on Friday. Tatler Asia wanted to announce the further procedure for this by mid-March. The government of China’s Special Administrative Region, which had demanded an explanation for the debacle, welcomed the organizer’s offer.

World champion Messi was a guest at Hong Kong XI last Sunday with his club Inter Miami from the US Major League Soccer.

“Like another slap in the face,” writes the organizer

Around 38,000 fans came from as far away as Australia to see the Argentine play. But the 36-year-old, like former FC Barcelona striker Luis Suárez, sat on the bench for 90 minutes in the Americans’ 4-1 win. Messi later said he had adductor problems.

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The fans expressed their anger with boos in the stadium and, in the days that followed, with angry posts online. On Wednesday, Messi played in a friendly against Vissel Kobe in Japan, which fueled the fans’ frustration.

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The club has contractually guaranteed that Messi and Suárez should play 45 minutes in Hong Kong unless they are injured, Tatler Asia said. Inter Miami informed the organizers that Messi and Suárez could not play due to injury. The fact that both were on the field in Japan felt like “another slap in the face,” wrote Tatler Asia.

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