Lionel Messi suspended by PSG for disallowed trip to Saudi Arabia | football news

Lionel Messi was suspended by Paris Saint-Germain for traveling to Saudi Arabia without the club’s permission, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Football Football – Ligue 1 – Paris Saint Germain v Lorient – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – April 30, 2023 Lionel Messi of Paris Saint Germain reacts REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo (REUTERS)

The person would not specify the length of the suspension, although French media reported it to be two weeks. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The two-week suspension will mean Messi will miss PSG’s next two matches. Both L’Equipe and RMC Sport reported the suspension without citing sources.

The person told the AP that the World Cup champion will not be allowed to train or play with the team and will not be paid during his suspension.

PSG had denied Messi’s request to travel, the person said.

Messi, 35, has a business contract with Saudi Arabia to promote tourism in the Middle Eastern country.

The suspension comes at a delicate time as the French club had hoped to extend the Argentine star’s contract beyond this season.

Messi’s visit followed PSG’s surprise 3-1 defeat to Lorient on Sunday, leaving the defending champions with a five-point lead over Marseille with five games left in the season. Messi played the whole game.

L’Equipe had reported that PSG coach Christophe Gaultier had promised his players two days off – Monday and Tuesday – if they beat Lorient. Instead, the team trained on Mondays and had Tuesdays off.

The forward joined PSG from Barcelona two years ago in the hope that he can lead the team to an elusive Champions League title. Instead, the Qatari-backed club was eliminated for 16 consecutive seasons.

Speculation has been rife about where he will play going forward, especially following reports that contract talks with PSG had broken down. Some PSG fans have even booed Messi amid the team’s inconsistent campaign.

Argentina won the World Cup under Messi’s leadership. He has scored 15 league goals and led the French league with 15 assists.

Messi has not publicly commented on the suspension on his social media accounts.

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