Lionel Messi has angered the Moroccan Football Association after the Barcelona star pulled out of Argentina’s friendly in Tangier.
Messi returned to international football for the first time since the World Cup on Friday but was unable to prevent his country from slipping to a 3-1 defeat to Venezuela.
Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon opened the soring at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium before Jhon Murillo and Josef Martinez netted either side of a Lautaro Martinez strike.
And a disappointing night in Madrid was made worse for the Argentina captain when it emerged that he had suffered a pelvic bone injury.
Barcelona subsequently released a statement on the club’s official website detailing the injury and confirming that he would miss the match in north Africa.
The statement read: “Whilst he would feature from start to finish [against Venezuela], a problem with his pubis means that Messi will not play in the second friendly of the international break.”
Messi will return to the Catalan club for treatment, however, it seems that the Moroccan FA is not convinced that the injury is genuine.
According to a report in Barcelona-based daily Sport, the Moroccan FA has demanded an explanation as to why Argentina will arrive for Tuesday’s friendly without the team’s best player.
Morocco are preparing for the summer’s African Cup of Nations in Egypt and had reportedly been promised that Argentina would field their strongest side in Tangier.