Lionel Messi was reportedly suspended by Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday for taking an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia, according to the Associated Press.
Messi was reportedly supposed to practice with the team after their 3-1 defeat on Sunday, Reuters reported. However, he flew to Saudi Arabia instead after PSG denied his request, the AP reported. The suspension will reportedly last for two weeks, meaning Messi will miss PSG’s next two games against Troyes and Ajaccio. He may return for the match against Auxerre on May 21, leaving little time before the season ends on June 3.
Lionel Messi has been suspended without pay for two weeks by PSG after visiting Saudi Arabia without permission 😳 pic.twitter.com/nGyzJoDpAT
— GOAL (@goal) May 2, 2023
The superstar will not be allowed to train or play with the team and will go unpaid throughout the suspension. The suspension came at a precarious time, as PSG reportedly no longer plans to renew his contract for next season, Reuters reported. (RELATED: Al-Hilal Offers Lionel Messi Over $400 Million Per Year That Could Potentially Set Up Glorious Rivalry With Ronaldo)
Despite playing for the French club, Messi has a commercial contract with Saudi Arabia to promote tourism in the country, the AP noted. As part of its Vision 2030 plan, Saudi Arabia is attempting to re-brand itself as a tourism hot spot similar to Dubai. It aims to boost its annual visitors to 100 million over the next decade.