Inter Miami announced that its tour of China this month has been canceled due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
The team, which was eliminated from the MLS qualifiers, announced last month that it would play friendly matches against Qingdao Hainyu on November 5 and then against another Chinese Super League team, Chengdu Rongcheng, in Chengdu on November 8.
Lionel Messi, who has just won his eighth Ballon d’Or, was a central figure in the club’s social media announcement.
But Inter Miami said on Wednesday: “The tour promoter, NSN, has informed Inter Miami FC that its tour of China has been canceled due to unforeseen circumstances in China.
“Inter Miami’s ambition remains to expand its global reach by playing in front of amazing fans from around the world; the club will continue to explore future opportunities with NSN to achieve this goal.
NSN expressed “regret” and said the cancellation was due to the recent death of former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
The trip to China was due to be Inter Miami’s first international tour, with the club’s chief business officer, Xavier Asensi, speaking of a desire to “share the passion as we reach new fans”.
Messi helped the club win the 2023 League Cup with an impressive start, but he missed several matches in September and October as his club’s play-off efforts faltered, with what was initially described as fatigue, later confirmed as a muscle injury.
He returned to action for Argentina during the international break last month and collected the record-breaking Ballon d’Or award in Paris earlier this week.
Lionel Messi, the Ballon d’Or and the future of American football
(Photo: Getty Images)
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