Fans were furious after was left on the bench for Inter Miami’s friendly against a Hong Kong XI on Sunday.
The Hong Kong Stadium was filled with 38,323 supporters who were hoping to watch Messi in action, with some paying in excess of 2,000 Hong Kong dollars (£200) for a ticket.
However, Messi has been nursing a hamstring injury during Inter Miami’s tour of Saudi Arabia and the Far East and took no part in Sunday’s friendly.
Fans at the Hong Kong Stadium chanted for Messi during the second half of the game but when it became apparent that the 36-year-old would not make an appearance, supporters began to boo and shout ‘refund’.
Fans continued to voice their displeasure after the game .
Another fan was videoed taking out their anger on a promotional advertisement at the stadium as they kicked the head off a cardboard cut-out of Messi.
The Hong Kong government has also hit out the decision to leave Messi on the bench.
‘Regarding Messi not playing the match today, the government, as well as all football fans, are extremely disappointed about the organisers’ arrangement. The organisers owe all football fans an explanation,’ the government said in a statement on Sunday.
A supporter who attended the game said in an interview with CNN after leaving the Hong Kong Stadium: ‘I’m very disappointed as everyone else here is.
‘However, I’m not super disappointed he didn’t play because I know he’s suffering from injury and he needs more rest.’
When asked about fans chanting for a refund, the supporter replied: ‘I didn’t like that at all. I expected it but I didn’t like it.
‘I wish it didn’t continue for so long, I think they got the message.
‘David heard it, I couldn’t hear what Beckham was saying at all because the boos were so loud.
‘Tickets weren’t cheap, most expensive football tickets in Hong Kong, I believe. Mine was HKD 2,280 (£222).’
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