Lionel Messi suspended by PSG for unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia

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Lionel Messi has been suspended for two weeks without pay by Paris Saint-Germain after he went on a trip to Saudi Arabia without the club’s consent, ESPN reports. The Athletic adds that the star forward will be fined.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported that Messi missed practice Monday because he was in Riyadh, the country’s capital. The trip was part of his sponsorship deal with the Saudi Arabian office of tourism, which he signed before joining the Ligue 1 club in 2021.

PSG manager Christophe Galtier told his team that they would have practice off Monday and Tuesday if they won their Sunday match against Lorient, but they lost 3-1. The club went 2-3 in April.

Over the weekend, Messi posted a picture on Instagram of rows of trees in Saudi Arabia.

‘Who thought Saudi has so much green? I love to explore its unexpected wonders whenever I can,’ he wrote with the promotional tag #visitsaudi.

After winning his first World Cup with Argentina last summer, Messi is in the final year of his contract with the French side. Negotiations for his extension are ongoing and he’s reportedly entertaining offers to join Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal (the rival club to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr) and Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami, which is owned by David Beckham.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY