PSG suspend Lionel Messi for an unapproved visit to Saudi Arabia, while the club remains ahead in the Ligue 1 title race. The Argentine World Cup winner, appointed as a tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia, travelled to Riyadh on Sunday night and was pictured in the city the following day.
Why Did Lionel Messi Insist On Going Without An Approval?
He was reportedly denied permission to take the trip by PSG officials and has been fined two weeks’ wages while receiving a two-match suspension. Additionally, Messi will not be allowed to train with the club during this period. But why did the superstar insist on going without approval?
“First of all, I want to apologise to my teammates and the club,” Messi said in the video clip posted to his Instagram story. “Honestly, I thought we were going to have a day off after the game like we did in previous weeks.”
Messi has expressed regret to Paris Saint-Germain and his fellow teammates for embarking on an unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia earlier this week.
I am happy to welcome #Messi and his family to Saudi to enjoy the magical tourist destinations and authentic experiences.
We welcome visitors from all around the world to experience a unique trip to Saudi Arabia and its hospitality. 🇸🇦#WelcomeMessi pic.twitter.com/QQGdnAqQ08
— Ahmed Al Khateeb أحمد الخطيب (@AhmedAlKhateeb) May 1, 2023
Messi used social media to promote his trip, while the tourism minister of Saudi Arabia posted pictures of the football star’s visit.
No Individual Is Bigger Than The Club – PSG
PSG are said to have a new policy under the direction of its president, Nasser al Khelaifi, whereby no individual is bigger than the club. As per reports in France, PSG suspended the World Cup winner for two weeks, during which he will be banned from training or playing with the team, and his pay will be reduced.
The suspension means that Messi will not be available for PSG for the upcoming league games against Troyes and Ajaccio but will return for their match with Auxerre on 21 May. PSG have not released any official statement about the matter.
The suspension comes just after Messi played the entire game in PSG’s 3-1 home defeat to Lorient last Sunday. The loss reduced PSG’s lead over Marseille at the top of Ligue 1 to five points.