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Hong Kong fans demand refunds as Messi, Suarez bench mar Inter Miami showcase

Posted : 06 February 2024

Inter Miami, featuring stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, faced fan outrage in Hong Kong during a showcase match when both players were benched, prompting boos, chants, and demands for ticket refunds from the disappointed 40,000-strong crowd.


The Hong Kong government expressed disappointment, stating that explanations were owed by the event organizers. Tatler XFEST, responsible for the game, expressed deep disappointment, claiming they had no prior information about Messi and Suarez not playing until the match commenced.


Inter Miami coach Tata Martino issued apologies, acknowledging the fans' sentiments but emphasizing the decision to prioritize the players' physical well-being due to injuries.


Messi's hip tendon injury was cited as the reason, and Martino stated they couldn't risk playing him, considering their commitments to the MLS. Despite the setback, the Hong Kong All Stars' captain, Jaap Hongfei, found satisfaction in playing against high-level players before a full stadium.


However, disappointed fans, like Christer Luang, president of the Argentina Supporters Club in Hong Kong, called for compensation, blaming Inter Miami's crowded schedule for the unexpected turn of events.


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