Inter Miami’s game in Chengdu cancelled at last minute

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Inter Miami will now play just one pre-season match in China after last-minute amendments were made to the Major League Soccer team’s first international tour.

Inter Miami, buoyed by the impact of recent signing Lionel Messi, announced earlier this month that it would play Qingdao Hainiu FC on November 5 at the 50,000-capacity Qingdao Youth Football Stadium, before facing Chengdu Rongcheng on November 8 at Phoenix Hill Sports Park (pictured), which seats over 60,000 fans.

The team announced on Friday that the match against Qingdao will now take place at the 41,000-capacity Wuyan River Stadium in Haikou. At the time, the Chengdu match remained scheduled for Phoenix Hill Sports Park, but organisers have now cancelled the fixture.

In a statement reported by the South China Morning Post newspaper, tour organisers said: “We are sorry that the second leg of Inter Miami Football Club’s trip to China will not be held in Chengdu due to various reasons. We ask for your understanding.”

Inter Miami, which is co-owned by David Beckham, had said that the two matches would tie in with plans to expand its global reach. The profile of the club has increased considerably since eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi joined in July.

The Argentina captain has scored 11 goals in 13 games for the club and his arrival in MLS has seen ticket prices for Inter Miami matches skyrocket.

Sellout crowds had been expected for the two matches in China but Inter Miami will now play just one fixture, and at a smaller stadium than originally scheduled.

Inter Miami was formed in January 2018 and debuted in MLS in 2020. The club currently plays at the DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale but commenced construction on a new 25,000-seat stadium in Miami back in August.