Inter Miami’s two-game tour of China is off, the club announced Wednesday. The trip was scheduled to be Miami’s first international exhibition since signing Lionel Messi in July.
The club said “unforeseen circumstances” forced the tour’s promoter, NSN, to cancel the matches.
“The tour promoter, NSN, has informed Inter Miami CF of the cancellation of its China Tour due to unforeseen circumstances in China,” the club said in a statement. “Inter Miami’s ambition remains to expand its global reach by playing in front of incredible fans from across the globe; the Club will continue to explore future opportunities with NSN to achieve this goal.”
Miami was originally set to play Qingdao Hainiu FC on Nov. 5 and Chengdu Rongcheng on Nov. 8, but now is expected not to play again until MLS preseason begins early next year. The club missed out on the MLS Cup playoffs and played their final game of the season on Oct. 21, a 1-0 loss to Charlotte FC.
As for Messi, he will likely wrap up his year on the pitch with a pair of World Cup qualifiers for Argentina. The World Cup winners will face Uruguay and Brazil on Nov. 16 and Nov. 21, respectively.
He was expected to make the trip to China, but the cancelation lightens his load a bit after a busy 15 months for the Ballon d’Or winner. He played a full season for his previous club, Paris Saint-Germain, from August 2022 until June 2023 and competed in last year’s World Cup in the midst of that campaign. He had roughly a month off before joining Miami, and played consistently until he was sidelined for much of September. Messi will spend the winter taking it easy, and said he will not go on loan during that time.