Morocco frustrated by Messi's friendly absence

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Morocco had agreed to play Argentina's strongest team this week, so the FRMF was disappointed to learn of the superstar's injury

Morocco frustrated by Messi's friendly absence

Morocco had agreed to play Argentina's strongest team this week, so the FRMF was disappointed to learn of the superstar's injury

The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) sought clarity regarding Lionel Messi's injury, having been frustrated to learn that Argentina would be without their star man for Tuesday's friendly.

Messi made his return to the international stage last week, but Argentina were beaten 3-1 by Venezuela in Madrid and the Barcelona star was later revealed to be suffering with a pelvic injury.

That ailment will keep Messi out of Argentina's trip to Tangier, as was confirmed to Morocco in a letter on Saturday.

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But having agreed with Argentina that their best team would be on show, the FRMF asked for a further explanation, seemingly seeking to ensure Messi's injury is genuine.

A statement from the federation read: "The FRMF on Saturday received a letter from the agent of the friendly match against Argentina, officially confirming the absence of Lionel Messi.

"According to the same letter, the agent confirmed that the Argentine Football Association said that Messi had been injured in a match against Venezuela on Friday in Madrid and that he directly joined Barcelona for treatment.

"The FRMF asked for clarification from the match agent, approved by the Argentine Football Federation, after news of Messi's absence from Tuesday's match in Tangier.

"It is worth noting that the FMRF had agreed in the contract organising this friendly match to face Argentina's first team."

Morocco were held to a 0-0 draw by Malawi in an African Nations Cup qualifier on Friday.

Messi received criticism from former Argentina stars Daniel Passarella and Diego Maradona following their friendly defeat, with the former claiming that the Barcelona star's attitude is different when representing his country compared to his club, while the latter hit out at the entire team, labelling them 'unfit to wear the shirt'.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has helped his team to three major finals - one World Cup and two Copa Americas - but the Albiceleste fell at the final hurdle on all three occasions. 

And this summer, the 2014 finalists were humbled by a round-of-16 exit at the hands of eventual winners France, having been beaten 3-0 in their first game against Croatia, who went on to reach the final.

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