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Thursday June 13, 2024

Where is Messi? Over 1,300 Whitecaps fans demand refunds

Petition for refund gains momentum after star players including Messi fail to appear

By Web Desk
May 29, 2024
Thousands demand refund after Messi withdrew from match. — AFP File
Thousands demand refund after Messi withdrew from match. — AFP File

Disappointed football fans demanded refunds after star player Lionel Messi pulled out of the match.

More than 1,300 Whitecaps fans have signed a petition demanding a refund for Messi's absence from the match. Fans claim they were cheated and want compensation for high ticket prices.

Mandeep Grewal from Brampton, Ontario, said he spent more than $1,000 on two tickets. He said it was his son's 14th birthday, so he offered him the ticket as a birthday present. "This is my hard-earned money that I was willing to pay just for Messi as a one-time experience for my son," he lamented.

Grewal's son said that the incident has caused him to lose confidence in football clubs.

The sold-out game saw a record crowd at the stadium in Vancouver, with the upper bowl opened to 55,000 attendees.

Inter Miami beat the Whitecaps despite the absence of Messi, Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets. The Whitecaps offered kids free meal combos and half-price food and drinks, which fans said was insufficient compensation.

Tickets for the event started at $329, which is significantly higher than the usual price of under $100 for Whitecaps games.

"The use of Messi, Suárez, and Busquets in promotional materials has misled fans into believing they would see these stars play,” said petition starter Rachel Renzi.

Fans are demanding refunds, fair future pricing, transparency about player participation and policies to prevent similar situations.

"The current situation is not acceptable, and changes must be made to ensure fairness and transparency for all Whitecaps supporters,” Renzi concluded.