11th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) In an article published by the official media “Red Net,” which is supervised by the Hunan Provincial Party Committee’s Propaganda Department, the controversy surrounding Messi’s absence during his visit to Hong Kong continues to draw attention in mainland China and Hong Kong. The article, written by Liang Yufei from Hexi College, questions, “If using the excuse of being injured to be absent can still be understood, then what’s the explanation for refusing to speak at the award ceremony as the team captain, avoiding the Chief Executive’s handshake, and showing a complete lack of interaction with the fans throughout the event?” The article further states that Messi needs to provide an explanation to the vast number of Chinese fans.
The article commends the meticulous preparations made for the match in Hong Kong, praising the level of importance given to the event, the pre-match promotional posters, and the overall organisation and operation of the game. Many spectators even travelled from afar to witness the brilliance of the football king. However, the article criticizes Messi for not responding to the expectations of Hong Kong and the numerous fans. It questions how his actions can be justified, refusing to speak at the award ceremony as the team captain, avoiding the Chief Executive’s handshake, and showing a complete lack of interaction with the fans throughout the event. The article emphasises that regardless of his performance in Japan, his attitude in Hong Kong alone raises doubts about his respect for the organisers and the fans. During the Hong Kong exhibition match on 4th February, Messi did not change into his football jersey but instead sat in the reserve bench wearing sportswear.
The article asserts that as a professional player, one must possess noble professional ethics, and performing well on the field is a basic expectation. However, Messi’s actions have raised questions among the Chinese audience and fans. The article concludes by emphasising that providing an explanation and showing respect to the organisers and fans is crucial, especially considering the significance and anticipation surrounding the highly anticipated match in Hong Kong.