Furor over Messi no-show in Hong Kong game deepens with Argentina’s tour of China canceled

HONG KONG (AP) — The fallout from Lionel Messi’s failure to play in a club exhibition match in Hong Kong has spread with both of Argentina’s friendly matches as part of a tour of mainland China next month canceled by local football authorities. The Beijing Football Association said on Saturday it 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 organise the match in which Lionel Messi was to participate.” The news comes a day after Chinese sports authorities canceled Argentina’s scheduled exhibition match against Nigeria.

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