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SBD Global/July 4, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Lionel Messi Cancels Friendly Scheduled For Wednesday At L.A.'s Memorial Coliseum

LIONEL MESSI's charity game, a "Battle of the Stars" which was scheduled to take place at L.A.'s Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday and feature a number of the world's top footballers, "was canceled Tuesday," according to Kevin Baxter of the L.A. TIMES. The announcement gave way to "a blistering attack" from El Padrino Spirits Public Relations VP RALINA SHAW. Shaw said, "In all the years I've been doing live events, I have never encountered a situation like this. It's unfortunate because the only losers in this scenario are the fans that were looking forward to the game." El Padrino CEO TODD GRAHAM said, "After hours of trying to convince Lionel Messi's management team to fulfill their contractual agreement and come to Los Angeles, it is clear they have no respect for these fans and this market" (L.A. TIMES, 7/2).

MESSI APOLOGIZES: Ole reported Messi said in an apology on his Facebook page, "I am disappointed in the management of the charity game in Los Angeles. I had a lot of desire to attend and enjoy this as I did in Perú and Colombia. This project is done for the fans, and because of this I am very disappointed with the organization. A special hug to any people that were going to support this cause at Memorial Coliseum and thanks to everyone for your support" (OLE, 7/3).

CONFLICT IN PERÚ: EL BOCÓN reported that during Messi's "Messi and the Rest of the World" charity game in Lima, Perú on Tuesday night, "it was not all happiness because with 15 minutes remaining, Messi left the field to intervene in a scuffle between stadium security personnel and Messi's family members." Messi's father, JORGE, and brothers RODRIGO and MATIAS were escorted from the field after approaching Messi's team's bench. Messi then "immediately left the field and returned to his hotel without showering" (EL BOCÓN, 7/3).
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