The Los Angeles Times reports Messi was scheduled to make an appearance at the Memorial Coliseum in the so-called ‘Battle of the Stars’, where players such as Cesc Fabregas and Robert Lewandowski were also booked to take part, but chose not to participate.
Ralina Shaw, Vice-President of public relations at El Padrino Spirits, one of the sponsors, laid the blame firmly at Messi’s door.
“In all my year’s organising events I’ve never come across a situation like this. It’s unfortunate because the biggest losers are the fans, who wanted to see the game,” it read.
According to the statement, ‘hours were spent’ trying to convince Messi to fulfil the agreement and travel to Los Angeles from Lima in Peru, where a similar event was held on Tuesday night.
“It’s clear there has been no respect for these supporters and this market. We feel it is an obvious attempt to deceive American citizens and the companies that have sponsored this event,” insisted Todd Graham, executive director of El Padrino Spirits.