PSG suspend Lionel Messi for two weeks over unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia
Paris Saint-Germain have suspended Lionel Messi for two weeks over an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia.
Messi failed to turn up for training on Monday following PSG’s shock home defeat by Lorient on Sunday, in which the 35-year-old played all 90 minutes.
It has been widely reported that the World Cup winner, who has a lucrative role as a tourism ambassador for Saudi Arabia, asked permission to make the trip in order to fulful his contractual duties with the Gulf state, but the request by Qatari-owned PSG was refused.
Messi made the trip anyway, and will now be banned from any training or matches for a fortnight.
The incident is likely to render Messi’s already strained relationship with PSG irretrievable, amid strong interest from Major League Soccer franchises as well as other European clubs and Saudi side Al Hilal, the city rivals of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr.
PSG still have five league games this season and are looking to seal a ninth Ligue 1 title in 11 years. They are currently five points clear of Marseille, and travel to 18th-placed Troyes on Sunday.