Messi has responded to criticism for dropping out of a star-studded fundraising game in Los Angeles for what he cited as organizational failures. He is 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.
It was a nice turnaround from Tuesday, when El Padrino Sports expressed its displeasure with Messi by saying he had no respect for his West Coast American fan base.
"After hours of trying to convince Lionel Messi's management team to fulfill their contractual agreement and come to Los Angeles, it is clear they have no respect for these fans and this market," said a statement from Todd Graham, CEO of El Padrino, earlier this week.
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.