The organizer of an exhibition match between Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami and Hong Kong XI said that fans will receive a partial refund.
The announcement came after the Argentinian star did not suit up due to a hamstring injury.
Messi’s absence during the game left 40,000 fans upset, with some chanting “refund” and booing Inter Miami.
“We apologize to all those who were disappointed by the football match between the Hong Kong Team and Inter Miami CF on Sunday,” Tatler Asia said in a statement.
“An event that we had hoped to be the pride of the city, and which we have worked very hard on for months, has become the source of great heartbreak.”
The Herons beat Hong Kong XI, 4-1, at the Hong Kong Stadium.
The Hong Kong government also expressed its disappointment towards Messi.
Inter Miami took accountability for “the late decision” to play without Messi.
To add salt to the wounds of Hong Kong fans, Messi played in the Herons’ friendly in Japan.
“We will not escape our responsibility as organizers,” said Tatler Asia.
“Details about the refund process will be provided in a separate communication by mid-March.”
Messi, 36, also apologized to the Hong Kong fans for not showing up on the field.
“It’s a shame because I always want to participate, especially when we traveled so far, and the people were so excited to see us.”
“Hopefully we can return and play another game in Hong Kong, the way I always do when I can.”