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Martino Addresses Messi's Absence Amidst Referee Controversy

Martino Addresses Messi's Absence Amidst Referee Controversy
Source: FB

In the aftermath of Inter Miami's unexpected defeat to Montreal, coach Gerardo Martino has come forward to clarify the situation surrounding Lionel Messi's absence from the match. The 2-3 loss, which marked Inter Miami's first setback of the season, was compounded by Martino's criticism of the referee's performance.

Messi, who was anticipated to play a crucial role in the game, was notably absent, leading to speculation about his fitness. Martino explained that the decision to rest Messi was pre-planned and not a result of any injury concerns¹. This move, however, did not sit well with fans, especially given the team's aspiration to maintain an undefeated streak.

The match itself was marred by controversy, with Martino expressing dissatisfaction with the referee's handling of the game. He lamented the lack of competitive spirit and accused the referee of contributing to the defeat by not adequately addressing time-wasting tactics employed by Montreal⁴.

Martino's comments highlight the tension and high stakes in Major League Soccer, where every match is critical for the teams' standings. As Inter Miami regroups for their upcoming fixtures, the focus will be on how they bounce back from this loss and how they manage the rotation of key players like Messi.