China has canceled a friendly match between Argentina and Nigeria after Lionel Messi did not play in a recent match in Hong Kong.
The absence of Messi drew criticism from fans who expected to see him on the field.
The government of Hong Kong expressed disappointment, even though Messi explained he had a minor injury.
This caused unrest among fans during the match, with chants calling for Messi to play.
As a result, the upcoming friendly between Argentina and Nigeria in Hangzhou has been canceled.
An Argentina official confirmed the cancellation and acknowledged the sensitivity of the situation.
It is likely that Argentina will now search for a different venue for the match against Nigeria.