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Saturday February 24, 2024

Fans demand refund as Messi stayed on bench throughout match

Beckham and his team were booed during match by angry fans who filled stadium to see 2022 World Cup winner

By Web Desk
February 04, 2024
Miami’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi (C) walks to the bench during the friendly football match between Hong Kong XI and US Inter Miami CF in Hong Kong on February 4, 2024. — AFP
Miami’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi (C) walks to the bench during the friendly football match between Hong Kong XI and US Inter Miami CF in Hong Kong on February 4, 2024. — AFP

A friendly match between Inter Miami and Hong Kong XI witnessed uproar as fans started demanding a refund when soccer star Lionel Messi stayed on the bench throughout the game.

Messi was expected to feature in the match but the Argentina star stayed on the bench which angered the local fans.

The angry spectators couldn't control their emotions and turned on the visiting side and their co-owner and legendary footballer, David Beckham, asking for a refund.

Beckham and his team were booed during the match by the angry fans who filled the stadium to see the 2022 World Cup winner.

Messi, the player most of the 40,000 fans had paid handsomely to see, was nursing a hamstring injury and remained on the bench as an unused substitute.

Afterwards, Beckham's attempt to address the crowd was drowned out by booing as many headed for the exits.

Widely regarded as the greatest to have ever played the game, tens of thousands turned out on Saturday just to watch Messi stretch in an open training session, but that was all they got as the 36-year-old rested his legs on Sunday.

Local stars G.E.M, Gareth T, and Mirror member Keung To earlier entertained a crowd that included the city's leader John Lee, but the day ended on a sour note.

Goals from Robert Taylor, Lawson Connery Sunderland, Leonardo Campana, and Ryan Sailor cruised the MLS side to their first victory since September 2023.

While Messi didn't play, his teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba got some minutes in the second half.

Inter Miami will now face Vissel Kobe in their next club friendly on February 7 where Messi is expected to play.