Inter Miami would have played two games in China this month, but those plans have been cancelled, the club said Wednesday.
In an online statement, Inter Miami said that the tour’s organiser had told the club that the trip would not be happening because of “unexpected circumstances in China.”
In a post on the Chinese social media site Weibo, the tour organiser revealed the news. They said they “deeply regretted” making the announcement, but they didn’t say why they did it.
The team was supposed to play two Chinese Super League teams as friendly matches. The first was Qingdao Hainiu on Sunday, and the second was Chengdu Rongcheng three days later.
Messi, who just won the World Cup, is very famous in China, where the men’s national team hasn’t done well in recent years and the domestic league has problems with corruption.
Messi scored both goals as Argentina beat Australia 2-0 in a friendly in June, much to the joy of thousands of fans wearing the classic blue-and-white striped jerseys of the South American country.
On Monday in Paris, the 36-year-old football star won his eighth Ballon d’Or, putting him even further ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five, for the most in history.
When Messi joined Miami in July, the club’s global social media following grew by a huge amount. On the pitch, the team won its first prize, the League Cup, in August.