Lionel Messi was given a suspension by Paris Saint-Germain for traveling to Saudi Arabia without the permission of the club, A person with knowledge of the situation informed The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The person didn’t say how long the suspension was, but French media said it was two weeks. The individual spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to discuss the matter in public.
A fourteen day suspension would mean Messi would miss PSG’s next two games. The suspension was reported by RMC Sport and L’Equipe without citing any sources.
The individual informed the Associated Press that the World Cup champion will not be compensated while suspended and will not be permitted to train or play with the team.
PSG had denied Messi’s solicitation to make the excursion, the individual said.
Messi, who is 35 years old, has a business deal with Saudi Arabia to promote tourism in the Middle Eastern nation.
The French club had hoped to extend the Argentine star’s contract beyond this season, so the suspension comes at a delicate time.
PSG’s surprise 3-1 defeat to Lorient on Sunday prompted Messi’s trip, giving the defending champions a five-point lead over Marseille with five games remaining in the season. Messi appeared in every game.
According to L’Equipe, PSG coach Christophe Galtier had promised to give his players two days off if they beat Lorient, on Monday and Tuesday. Instead, on Monday, the team trained, and Tuesday was off.
The forward joined PSG from Barcelona quite a while back on trusts he could lead the group to a slippery Bosses Association title. All things being equal, the Qatari-supported club was wiped out in the round of 16 in successive seasons.
There has been a lot of talk about where he would play next, especially since there were reports that talks about his contract with PSG had stopped. During the inconsistent season for PSG, some fans have even booed Messi.
In December, Messi led Argentina to victory at the World Cup. He leads the French league with 15 assists and has scored 15 league goals.
On his social media accounts, Messi has not made any public remarks regarding the suspension.