Due to the high cost of hosting the world champions, India turned down the chance to host Lionel Messi’s Argentina for a friendly game. Argentina had reservations for two friendly matches in South Asia, but none of the countries could raise the funds. Argentina finally faced Indonesia and Australia. The two teams, Argentina and India, are ranked very differently. India is ranked 101 places lower than Argentina, the world’s top-ranked country.
India declines a unique chance to host Lionel Messi And World Champion Argentina
Argentina was eager to play these games in South Asia given the fierce backing the world champions received during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year. The Argentinean team had slots for two friendly matches this month, between June 12 and June 20.
Due to the massive cost of hosting, India declined the opportunity to host Lionel Messi’s Argentina
Due to the high cost of hosting the world champions, India declined the opportunity to host Lionel Messi’s Argentina for a friendly match during this month’s global window.
AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran’s statement
“The Argentina FA came to seeking us for a friendly, but it was just not feasible to raise such a massive sum,” AIFF secretary general Shaji Prabhakaran said on Monday to the News agency. “We require the support of a powerful partner for such a match to occur here. The amount of money Argentina command (as an appearance fee) is enormous, and our financial situation in football places restrictions on us.”
Messi’s squad takes a cost of $4–$5 million for a game
Head of international relations Pablo Joaquin Diaz spoke on behalf of the Argentina FA in negotiations with AIFF. Argentina has grown into the most sought-after football team since prevailing in the World Cup, with Messi’s squad leading a cost of $4–$5 million (roughly Rs. 32–40 crore).
Argentina played friendlies against Australia and Indonesia
Argentina originally intended to play two friendlies in South Asia—one in India and the other in Bangladesh—but none of the nations could come up with the money on such short notice, so the world champions, were forced to play Australia in Beijing on June 15 and Indonesia in Jakarta on June 19.
The world champions reportedly declined the opportunity to play friendlies in the United States during this window to pursue a strategy to capitalize on their international appeal.
There is a massive margin in the ranking of the two teams- Argentina & India
Argentina and India are ranked differently, so the AIFF would have had to find another team to play the world champions. India is ranked 101 places behind Argentina, the top-ranked country in the world.
“If India had faced Argentina, there would have been too much of a mismatch,” according to Prabhakaran.
It would have cost a lot for India to witness Messi and world champion Argentina this time.