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27th May 2024

Fuming MLS fans alter Messi shirts after wasting ‘hundreds of dollars’ to watch Inter Miami

Callum Boyle

Lionel Messi

Messi was absent for Inter Miami’s most recent game

MLS fans have been left fuming after claiming they spent hundreds of dollars to watch Lionel Messi play only for the Argentine to be absent from the squad.

Inter Miami had made the trip to Canada where they would be facing Vancouver Whitecaps.

Before the game there had been talk that Messi and two other stars, Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets, wouldn’t be in the squad and supporters’ worries were realised once the squad was announced and the trio weren’t included.

Those heading to the BC Place Stadium were infuriated and decided to protest by making alterations to their Messi shirts.

Others protested with signs inside the stadium however Vancouver still had a record attendance of over 51,000.

Inter Miami defend decision

Even without their star men Inter Miami were able to win the game 2-1 and head coach Gerardo Martino defended his decision to leave Messi, Suarez and Busquets out of the side as he tries and manages their workload.

He said: “We trained yesterday. When we finished, I conferred with the coaching staff and talked with the players, and at that moment we decided that they would not form part of the team.

“We understand the people’s frustration, especially in wanting to see these players, but it is our job as the coaching staff to make these decisions that are uncomfortable.

“We can’t announce with 20 days’ notice what our movements will be. We analysed the situation on Thursday because we have three games in a week, but sometimes unfortunate things happen that don’t allow for players to participate in a certain match.”

Vancouver also issued a statement to supporters in which they echoed Martino’s sentiments, saying that they have “no control over who plays for our opponent”.

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