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Messi under fire for unauthorized travel

Posted May. 04, 2023 07:56,   

Updated May. 04, 2023 07:56


Soccer superstar Lionel Messi has been suspended for two weeks after traveling to Saudi Arabia during the league season without permission from his team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) FC. The contract period between Messi and PSG remains valid until next month, but European media outlets anticipate that his contract renewal is effectively over. The BBC reported Wednesday that “PSG imposed a two-week suspension on Messi for not attending team training without getting permission.”

PSG, which is competing with Olympique de Marseille FC for the lead in the French Ligue 1 in the final days of the season, has thus taken a stern action. Messi cannot participate in team training and matches during the suspension period. He will not be paid a weekly wage. PSG will play two league matches without Messi. After finishing a home game against Lorient FC on Monday, Messi took a flight to Saudi Arabia.

Messi is serving as a goodwill ambassador for Saudi Arabia’s tourism. It has been reported that his trip to Saudi Arabia was due to filming related to his goodwill ambassador activities. Messi also uploaded Saudi-related posts on his social media channels on Wednesday. PSG was acquired by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) in 2011, which is a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority.

According to French media Requipe, Messi asked his club for permission to travel before departing for Saudi Arabia, but it was not accepted. The mood in his team PSG after losing 1-3 to Lorient apparently affected the team’s decision to reject his request. Covering the news on disciplinary action against Messi, the BBC said, "PSG fans no longer want Messi. There will be no extension of Messi's contract with PSG." Requipe reported, "The suspension of Messi's activity suggests that his history with PSG is over."

Amid a situation where PSG appears to have made a ‘decision to break up’ with Messi, attention is focusing on which team Messi will choose as his next destination. Messi's original affiliation, Barcelona FC, claimed recently that it reportedly met with Messi in person and asked for his return. Some news reports say that teams in the U.S. or Middle Eastern leagues are interested in signing a contract with Messi.