Organisers of a football friendly in Hong Kong that triggered huge outrage due to Lionel Messi's absence have started ticket refunds six weeks after the controversial game. Tatler Asia said in a statement that a "50 percent refund" will be offered to customers who bought the tickets through official channels, some of whom paid up to 4,880 Hong Kong dollars (625 U.S. dollars) to see the game. Lionel Messi out of Argentina Friendlies Against El Salvador and Costa Rica in the United States Due to Muscle Injury.

"Refunds will be processed within 30 days from the 12 April 2024 deadline," it said.

The organisers said customers that purchased tickets directly from Tatler Asia Limited, including tickets from event sponsors and partners, will be contacted by a dedicated account manager with information on ticket refunds, reports Xinhua. Messi outraged fans in Hong Kong when he failed to make an appearance as his club Inter Miami defeated a Hong Kong League XI 4-1 on February 4.

The Argentinian explained afterwards that his absence was due to a groin injury, but many Hong Kong fans were left unimpressed when he played for 30 minutes in another friendly against Vissel Kobe just three days later in Tokyo.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 19, 2024 11:24 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website