AFCON

Nigeria Friendly Against Argentina cancelled over Messi drama

The anticipated friendly match between the Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles, and Argentina has been cancelled due to the backlash surrounding Lionel Messi’s absence in a recent exhibition match.

Messi, the star attraction for Inter Miami’s clash with a Hong Kong XI last week, failed to play a single minute, leaving thousands of fans disappointed. This led to the cancellation of Argentina’s planned March friendly against Nigeria in Hangzhou, China.

Organizers of the Hong Kong match were forced to offer a 50% refund to ticket holders after Messi sat out the game despite Inter Miami’s contractual obligation for their players to participate for at least 45 minutes. This culminated in the Hangzhou sports authorities cancelling the Nigeria friendly, which was scheduled for March.

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.”

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