David Beckham is BOOED and 40,000 angry fans chant ‘refund’ after Lionel Messi was left on the bench during Inter Miami’s pre-season win over a Hong Kong XI

  • Fans in Hong Kong were furious after being denied the chance to watch Messi
  • The Argentine was injured and remained on the bench throughout the game
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news

Furious fans in Hong Kong booed David Beckham and demanded a refund after paying for tickets to watch Lionel Messi, only for the Inter Miami star to remain on the bench.

Beckham, the president and co-owner of the US soccer franchise, greeted the 40,000-strong crowd after the match, thanking them for their ‘amazing welcome’ following Inter Miami’s 4-1 win over a Hong Kong XI.

But Manchester United and England were heavily booed during his speech after fans paid as much as $460 for a glimpse of Messi in action.

There was always a chance he wouldn’t feature due to injury, but fans snapped up all 40,000 tickets within an hour at the Hong Kong Stadium when they went on sale in December.

It was apparently made clear to supporters when they bought tickets that no refunds would be issued if Messi did not play.

David Beckham was booed by fans in Hong Kong after Lionel Messi did not play for Inter Miami

David Beckham was booed by fans in Hong Kong after Lionel Messi did not play for Inter Miami

A tight hamstring kept the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner on the sidelines alongside Luis Suarez

Fans paid huge sums to see Messi in action, but they were denied the chance on Sunday

A tight hamstring kept the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner on the sidelines in Hong Kong alongside Uruguayan forward and former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez.

Messi played the final seven minutes of their defeat to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia on Thursday after reports emerged before the game that he was due for an MRI scan on a suspected injury.

Despite that, Messi was heavily advertised, both when tickets went on sale and in the build-up to the match and when tickets went on sale.

One fan admitted she ‘felt like a fool’ after her partner paid $280 each for them to attend.

“I have been waiting to see him for almost ten years,” said Total Ling Pak-to. ‘It’s a rare opportunity to see him as he may be retiring soon. We are very disappointed.’

One fan, who paid $200 for his ticket, even flew in from Melbourne to catch a glimpse of Messi.

“I flew from Melbourne for this,” said Marco Hu Kim-ming. ‘We waited a long time, but he never arrived. I’m really disappointed.’

Another fan, who shelled out $460, was also furious. Antony Osazee said: ‘I came for the training and just saw him doing stretches. Messi is not a supermodel. People don’t just pay to watch him sit.’

Local fans could not hide their frustration after paying as much as $460 to see Messi play

Local fans could not hide their frustration after paying as much as $460 to see Messi play

Messi took part in training the day before despite a hamstring problem in Saudi Arabia

Messi took part in training the day before despite a hamstring problem in Saudi Arabia

The fans who filled the same arena a day earlier at least saw the 2022 World Cup winner in an open training session alongside Beckham.

Speaking on the pitch after the game, Beckham said: ‘On behalf of everyone involved at Inter Miami, our club, I want to say a huge thank you for the incredible welcome.

‘We’ve always loved… I’ve always loved Hong Kong. Thank you very much for the incredible welcome. And we look forward to coming back one day to entertain you even more.

‘Thanks to the media. Thank you to everyone in the stadium who showed up and was here for us tonight.

“It means a lot because watching these great players play inspires a lot of young kids in this country and around the world. I hope we will be back to entertain you one day. Hong Kong, thank you very much. I will see you soon. Thank you.’

Despite Messi’s absence, Inter Miami produced a better performance after a 6-0 thrashing by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr in Riyadh on Thursday.

Robert Taylor opened the scoring for Miami five minutes before halftime with a curling shot from the corner of the area.

Henri Anier quickly equalized for the hosts, led by national team coach Jorn Andersen.

Lawson Sunderland restored Miami’s lead early in the second half and then, after 56 minutes, provided the assist for Leonardo Campana, who made it 3-1. Ryan Sailor headed in a fourth five minutes from the end.

Miami ends its Asian tour in Japan on Wednesday as it takes on Vissel Kobe.

More to follow.


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