Major League Soccer club Inter Miami have cancelled their mini post-season tour of China.
The trip has been abruptly cancelled just three days before the squad was to depart.
Lionel Messi and his teammates were scheduled to travel to the Far East to play two high-profile friendlies against Chinese Super League clubs Qingdao Hainiu and Chengdu Rongcheng on November 5 and 8.
The abrupt cancellation of the two matches was attributed to ‘bureaucratic and commercial issues’.
The first announcement of this unexpected turn of events came from renowned Argentine journalist Gaston Edul.
Miami expressed their disappointment in a formal statement, saying (via their official website): “The tour promoter, NSN, has informed Inter Miami of the cancellation of its China Tour due to unforeseen circumstances in China.
“The club will continue to explore future opportunities with NSN to achieve this goal.”
As a result of the cancelled tour, the Fort Lauderdale-based MLS outfit will now remain in the United States.
This decision comes as a major setback to Chinese soccer fans who had been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Messi, fresh off his eighth Ballon d’Or win.
The blockbuster move has been a remarkable success for the David Beckham-owned franchise. Messi has had a remarkable start to his Miami career, netting 11 goals in his first half-season.
Despite the disappointment of the cancelled tour, Miami fans can still look forward to seeing Messi and his teammates in action on home soil as they prepare for the upcoming season.
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