Messi defends charity match no show, in talks to reschedule

Alex Moretto
Messi defends charity match no show, in talks to reschedule

Lionel Messi has jumped to his own defense after being condemned by sponsors for pulling out of a LA charity match.

The Argentine was scheduled to join other top international footballers in a friendly encounter at the LA Coliseum on Wednesday, with proceeds going to charity.

The match was called off just 26 hours before scheduled kickoff, after Messi had elected not to participate out of concern that his foundation would not be paid by organizers.

“I am disappointed by the management of the charity match in Los Angeles. I really wanted to attend and enjoy as I did in Peru and Colombia,” he posted on his official Facebook page. 

“This project is made by and for the fans, and that’s why I’m very disappointed with the organization. A special hug to those who were going to support this cause in LA Memorial Coliseum and thank you to everyone for their support.”

A statement was released by the event's main sponsor on Thursday, El Padrino Spirits, revealing that both parties are in negotiations to reschedule the match. No date has been confirmed but the release states that tickets would be honored from the previous event.

Team ‘Messi and friends’ won its game on Tuesday in Lima, Peru by a score of 8-5, with the next stop in the tour coming Saturday in Chicago.

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