Refunds Offered for Messi's Missed Match in Hong Kong, Fans Express Frustration

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Tatler Asia, the organizer of a much-anticipated exhibition match featuring Lionel Messi's Inter Miami and a Hong Kong Team, recently revealed plans to issue a 50 percent refund to fans who purchased tickets for the event through official channels. This decision comes in the wake of disappointment and backlash from fans after Messi, citing an injury, failed to play in the match held at the Hong Kong Stadium on February 4.

The organizer specified that customers who bought tickets through the official ticketing platform would be notified via email about the refund process, which is slated to be completed within 30 days from a deadline set for April 12. While the refund will cover 50 percent of the ticket cost, it excludes any additional expenses such as processing fees, transportation, accommodation, or other costs related to the match. This condition has triggered discontent among fans, with many taking to Chinese social media platforms like Sina Weibo to express their frustration at what they perceive as unfair treatment.

Despite Messi's absence from the Hong Kong game, where more than 38,000 fans and tourists were left disappointed, the soccer star later appeared in a friendly match against Japanese Vissel Kobe in Tokyo, raising questions and criticism surrounding the reasons for his no-show in Hong Kong. In response to the backlash, Messi posted a video on Sina Weibo explaining that he genuinely couldn't play due to injury, particularly citing inflammation of his adductor muscle. He expressed regret over missing the match and conveyed his gratitude and fondness for his Chinese fans, expressing a desire to reconnect with them soon. While the issue stirred controversy, Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress, expressed hopes of moving past Messi's absence and emphasized the positive relationships many world-class athletes have with Hong Kong.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09