The highly anticipated friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Argentina has been officially cancelled.
The cancellation comes in the wake of controversy surrounding Argentine football superstar, Lionel Messi‘s absence from a recent exhibition match in Hong Kong.
Messi, who currently plays for Inter Miami, was expected to be the main draw for a match against a Hong Kong XI.
However, the Argentine captain did not participate, leading to widespread disappointment and frustration among fans.
This incident has had a domino effect, influencing the decision to call off the upcoming friendly between Argentina and Nigeria, which was set to take place in Hangzhou, China, in March.
The situation escalated when Messi, despite missing the Hong Kong match due to injury, appeared in a game in Japan just days later.
In response to the outcry, organizers of the Hong Kong event offered a 50% refund to ticket holders, acknowledging the fans’ dissatisfaction with Messi’s absence.
The fallout from the incident has led sports authorities in Hangzhou to announce the cancellation of the friendly match.
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.”