- Inter Miami was set to play CSL’s Qingdao Hainiu and Chengdu Rongcheng
- Bureaucratic issues compel Miami to stay at the Florida Blue Training Center
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Lionel Messi and co. were scheduled to travel to the Far East on Thursday to play two friendlies against Chinese Super League clubs Qingdao Hainiu and Chengdu Rongcheng on November 5 and 8 respectively.
But the Herons will no longer be making the trip after both games were canceled due to ‘bureaucratic and commercial issues,’ according to Argentine journalist Gaston Edul.
With the expedition reportedly canceled, the Fort Lauderdale-based MLS team with now stay in the United States after missing out on the playoffs.
The club has yet to confirm that the postseason tour has been called off.
Lionel Messi and Inter Miami’s mini postseason tour in China has reportedly been canceled
Tata Martino’s team were set to fly to China on Thursday but will now reportedly stay Stateside
Miami was scheduled to play friendlies against Qingdao Hainiu and Chengdu Rongcheng
The specifics of the bureaucratic and commercial issues are currently unclear but they reportedly compel the Herons to remain at the Florida Blue Training Center to train until mid-November.
The tour had been thrown into chaos last week when it was reported that organizers had cancelled the team’s second game for ‘various reasons’.
The first friendly against Qingdao Hainiu had also been subject to a last-minute location change. However, according to reports neither will now take place.
The cancelation comes as somewhat of a boost for Miami’s international players, including Messi, who will need to travel for their respective fixtures for the upcoming FIFA international break.
However, it is a blow for Chinese soccer fans who had been bracing themselves for the arrival of Messi, who won his eighth Ballon d’Or Monday night.
He scored 11 goals in his first half-season for Miami after leaving Paris Saint-Germain over the summer.
Before moving to Inter Miami in the summer, 36-year-old Messi masterminded Argentina’s World Cup victory in Qatar, scoring twice during the final, while also finding the back of the net during a penalty shootout, to help the team defeat 2018 winners France.
The Argentina World Cup winner claimed his eighth Ballon d’Or title on Monday night in Paris
Certain reports suggested Messi could temporarily leave and rejoin a European club on loan before the 2024 MLS season begins next February, with former side Barcelona and several Saudi Arabian teams circling.
But Messi dismissed those reports and now appears set to remain in Miami and get preparations for his first full-season at DRV PNK Stadium underway.