Talk about Messi situations.
Hours after it was announced that Wednesday's charity soccer match featuring Argentina's Lionel Messi at the Los Angeles Coliseum had been canceled, Messi went on Facebook and gave his side of the story.
"Disappointed by the management of the charity match in Los Angeles," he wrote. "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."
Organizers, of course, have been pointing fingers in the other direction, having issued a terse statement Tuesday in which they blamed Messi for failing to fulfill a "contract agreement and come to Los Angeles," and charged his management with "attempt[ing] to defraud American citizens and businesses that sponsored this event."
Coliseum officials reported that fewer than 20,000 tickets had been sold.
Aside from their five-paragraph email, the promoters have refused to address the situation, declining to answer email and phone messages.
The charity games, staged in various cities each summer, are billed as "Messi and Friends" and feature Messi, a four-time FIFA world player of the year, competing in an exhibition with other top international players. The event Tuesday in Peru featuring Messi and Brazilian star Neymar.
Proceeds from the game go to Messi's foundation, which works with children suffering from terminal diseases.
Another match is scheduled for Saturday in Chicago, and although organizers there promised that the game would go on, they are clearly scrambling as well. On Wednesday, they asked four players from nearby Northwestern University to play in the game as friends of Messi.