By JASON MITCHELL
The final stop of Lionel Messi’s charity all-star match tour appears ready to be played, though it wouldn’t have as many stars as originally planned.
In the wake of Wednesday’s cancellation of an Messi-led exhibition match in Los Angeles, growing concerns about the suspension of a similar match in Chicago on Saturday have been eased as organizers insist the match at Soldier Field will take place.
Crain’s Chicago Business reports that the original list of 36 stars has dwindled to 13, and that those now taking the field will include former Northwestern University players, as well as one current Northwestern player. Names like Kevin Prince Boateng and Cesc Fabregas are nowhere to be found. The sponsor blamed injuries and team obligations for the diminished roster.
The promoter of the Chicago event told the Chicago Tribune that approximately 25,000 tickets have been sold for the Soldier Field event.
While sponsors of the L.A. game blamed Messi for refusing to play, the Argentine star has taken to Facebook to put the onus back on the sponsors.
“Disappointed by the management of the charity match in Los Angeles,” said his page. “I really wanted to be there and enjoy [it] as I did in Peru and Colombia. This project is made for the fans, and that’s why I’m very disappointed with the organization. A big hug to those who were going to support this cause at L.A. Memorial Coliseum and thank you all for your support.”
The Messi and Friends vs. The Rest of the World tour last played Tuesday night in Lima, Peru. Proceeds go to Messi’s charity.
What do you think of these developments? Planning to attend the Chicago match? Feeling like you overpaid for tickets now that you know so many stars won’t be attending?
Share your thoughts below