India Lose Chance To Host Lionel Messi And World Champion Argentina, Here’s WHY
India had a offer to bring Lionel Messi and Argentina for a friendly game but the AIFF denied Argentina FA's proposal.
Arguably the best player to set on a football pitch in all time, Lionel Messi, could have visited India for a friendly match but the All India Football Federation (AIFF) did not accept the proposal from Argentina Football Association. Messi fans in India would be devasted by the news as the secretary general of AIFF, Shaji Prabhakaran explained the Indian body did not have the finances required to make the move possible.
"The Argentina FA reached out to us for a friendly, but it was just not possible to arrange such a huge sum," Prabhakaran said. (Real Madrid Star Thibaut Leaves Belgium Camp Over Of Reports Of Captaincy Row)
He revealed further, "For such a match to happen here, we need the backing of a strong partner. The kind of money that Argentina command is huge and we have limitations in terms of our economic situation in football."
India & the AIFF have turned down the chance to welcome Argentina for a friendly this month due to the high cost involved in hosting them!
The World Champions have become the most in-demand team with Messi's team asking for a fee of approximately Rupees 32 to 40 crore! pic.twitter.com/7vqZZXkYsG — IFTWC - Indian Football (@IFTWC) June 20, 2023
Prabhakaran also said that a clash between India and Argentina would have been incredibly imbalanced considering the two teams' rankings.
"There would have been too much of a mismatch if India played (Argentina)," said Prabhakaran.
Argentina in the end played a friendly against Australia recently in China. Now, they will face Indonesia in Jakarta in a friendly as well but Messi is likely to miss that clash. Messi has scored 17 goals for Argentina this season while also winning the World Cup title. He was chosen as the best player at the mega event in Qatar last year. He is set to join MLS side Inter Miami soon.
Recently, Lionel Messi continued to shine bright in national colours as his special goal helped Argentina beat Australia in a friendly clash at Beijing in China. Messi scored in just the second minute of the match, which is now his fastest goal in international matches.