The proposed friendly match between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Argentina has been canceled due to Lionel Messi’s absence from his club, Inter Miami, in Hong Kong. DailyMail reported Messi was expected to play in an exhibition match between Inter Miami and a Hong Kong XI, but his absence led to disappointment among fans.
This disappointment extended to Argentina’s upcoming matches against Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire in Hangzhou and Beijing, respectively. Despite organizers offering a 50% refund for tickets due to Messi’s absence in Hong Kong, dissatisfaction remained.
Consequently, Hangzhou sports authorities announced the cancellation of the friendly match, citing current circumstances making it unfeasible to host the event, despite negotiations between a company and the Argentine soccer team.
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.”
This cancellation represents a setback for the enduring tradition of friendly matches between Nigeria and Argentina, two teams that have also crossed paths numerous times in the World Cup.
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