Angry fan kicks head off Lionel Messi cut-out after Inter Miami game in Hong Kong | Football

Lionel Messi remained on the bench during Inter Miami’s friendly against a Hong Kong XI (AFP via Getty)

Fans were furious after Lionel Messi was left on the bench for Inter Miami’s friendly against a Hong Kong XI on Sunday.

The Hong Kong Stadium was filled with 38,323 supporters who were hoping to watch Messi in action, with some paying in excess of 2,000 Hong Kong dollars (£200) for a ticket.

However, Messi has been nursing a hamstring injury during Inter Miami’s pre-season tour of Saudi Arabia and the Far East and took no part in Sunday’s friendly.

Fans at the Hong Kong Stadium chanted for Messi during the second half of the game but when it became apparent that the 36-year-old would not make an appearance, supporters began to boo and shout ‘refund’.

Fans continued to voice their displeasure after the game as Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham was jeered during his post-match speech on the pitch.

Another fan was videoed taking out their anger on a promotional advertisement at the stadium as they kicked the head off a cardboard cut-out of Messi.

The Hong Kong government has also hit out the decision to leave Messi on the bench.

‘Regarding Messi not playing the match today, the government, as well as all football fans, are extremely disappointed about the organisers’ arrangement. The organisers owe all football fans an explanation,’ the government said in a statement on Sunday.

A supporter who attended the game said in an interview with CNN after leaving the Hong Kong Stadium: ‘I’m very disappointed as everyone else here is.

‘However, I’m not super disappointed he didn’t play because I know he’s suffering from injury and he needs more rest.’

When asked about fans chanting for a refund, the supporter replied: ‘I didn’t like that at all. I expected it but I didn’t like it.

‘I wish it didn’t continue for so long, I think they got the message.

‘David heard it, I couldn’t hear what Beckham was saying at all because the boos were so loud.

‘Tickets weren’t cheap, most expensive football tickets in Hong Kong, I believe. Mine was HKD 2,280 (£222).’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Twitter and Instagram.

MORE : Jurgen Klopp explains Dominik Szoboszlai absence for Arsenal v Liverpool clash

MORE : Chelsea star booed off during Wolves defeat as fans sing for Roman Abramovich

MORE : Mikel Arteta gives update on Gabriel Jesus after Arsenal star misses pivotal Liverpool clash

General Sport