Whitecaps announce Messi isn’t coming to Vancouver for Inter Miami match

Lionel Messi fans on the West Coast will have to wait a bit longer to see the World Cup and Ballon d'Or winner in the flesh. (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

Lionel Messi fans on the West Coast will have to wait a bit longer to see the World Cup and Ballon d’Or winner in the flesh.

On Thursday, the Vancouver Whitecaps posted an official statement regarding Saturday’s match against Inter Miami, explaining that Messi and two of his superstar teammates would not be at BC Place.

“While we haven’t received an official update on the availability of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Sergio Busquets for this weekend, we understand they will not make this trip. Unfortunately, we have no control over who plays for our opponent, and it was important for us to communicate to our fans as soon as possible,“ said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC CEO.

This is difficult news for Canadian soccer fans, who could have made travel plans or paid supreme prices to see Messi, Suárez and Busquets play. The stadium is almost sold out already, with a club-record of over 54,000 people expected to be at the match.

Vancouver acknowledged this disappointment, but told fans to expect a “celebration of soccer” in return.

“…We remain committed to making this a special experience for everyone. It is still going to be an incredible atmosphere and celebration of soccer for our city. We have amazing fans, we have a good team, and Saturday’s match is a very important home game for us.” 

Additionally, the Whitecaps will be providing 50 per cent off all in-stadium food and beverage for this match, and youth 18 and under will be given one free kids meal combo.

Currently, Inter Miami sits atop the Eastern Conference table with 31 points, while Vancouver are seventh in the Western Conference with 19 points.

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