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Montevideo, April 12th 2024 - 12:32 UTC

 

 

The magic of football: for China Falklands are British and no longer Argentine

Thursday, February 15th 2024 - 12:14 UTC
Full article 2 comments
The Beijing Football Association reacted to the alleged sight by cancelling both of Argentina's friendly matches as part of a tour of mainland China next month. The Beijing Football Association reacted to the alleged sight by cancelling both of Argentina's friendly matches as part of a tour of mainland China next month.

Disgruntled Chinese football fans, blaming Argentine top star Lionel Messi, are now advocating that the Falklands are British, --certainly not Argentine--.Messi failed to play in an exhibition match in Hong Kong, for which the Chinese public paid a considerable sum, and furious frustrated fans are calling the captain of the Argentine World Cup winner a “thief” and contradicting Beijing's official stance that the Malvinas are a relic of British colonialism and that the Islands belong to Argentina.

 Messi had been due to play in an exhibition match in China next week, but remained on the bench due to injury in Hong Kong. However anger from Chinese fans grew even further when Messi made an appearance in a friendly match in Japan just two days later.

The Beijing Football Association reacted to the alleged sight by cancelling both of Argentina's friendly matches as part of a tour of mainland China next month.

China football bosses said they would not organize Argentina’s scheduled friendly against Ivory Coast in Beijing in March, reportedly saying to local media: “Beijing does not plan, for the moment, to organize the match in which Lionel Messi was to participate.”

Chinese sports authorities also cancelled Argentina's scheduled exhibition match against Nigeria.

Using the Chinese social media website Weibo, fans have been plastering the Argentine embassy account with support for British rule of the Falkland Islands. Some of the posts have made use of similar terms the incumbent Communist Party uses for its insistence that Taiwan is part of China.

One user wrote: “The fact that the islands belong to Britain is beyond doubt. Messi is a thief. All his Ballon d’Or awards were stolen.”

Landi Xie wrote: “The Falklands are an integral and inseparable part of the United Kingdom.”

While another making reference to the 1982 Falklands War, said: ”The Islands are part of the UK. They were before, they are now, and of course, they will be”

Hong Kong organizers of the club friendly with Inter Miami- the US club Messi is playing for currently - said they will offer a 50% refund following days of backlash against Messi from angry fans and the city government.

Many social media users in mainland China expressed their disappointment over Messi’s no-show, with China’s state-run newspaper, the Global Times, publishing an editorial that said the impact of the controversy surrounding the football superstar “has far exceeded the realm of sports.”

In an Instagram post, local organizer Tatler Asia apologized to those who were disappointed by Messi's absence and said it was upset by “the seeming lack of respect shown to the crowd.”

It also pleaded with Inter Miami management to urge Messi to explain, who was required to play for 45 minutes unless injured under their contract, why he would not be playing.

The organizers said they were in talks with the city government on how to resolve the issue and details of the refund arrangement would be announced by mid-March.

However reflecting the sensitivity of China's international affairs, the Global Times said in the editorial that the explanations from Messi and Inter Miami were not convincing enough and pointed to some speculations about the moves.

“One theory is that their actions have political motives, as Hong Kong intends to boost economy through the event and external forces deliberately wanted to embarrass Hong Kong through this incident,” it said. “Judging from the development of the situation, the possibility of this speculation cannot be ruled out.”

Pro-Beijing politicians in Hong Kong also weighed in. Regina Ip, a leading member of the Executive Council, Hong Kong’s Cabinet, wrote on X: “Messi should never be allowed to return to Hong Kong. His lies and hypocrisy are disgusting.”

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox

    Correct answer. Wrong process to get there though. Oh well.

    Feb 15th, 2024 - 01:01 pm +2
  • imoyaro

    Whatever works...

    Feb 18th, 2024 - 03:52 am 0
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