Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta still in Spain ahead of Turkey charity match

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and teammate Andres Iniesta are in Spain despite being scheduled to take part in a charity match on Saturday in Antalya, Turkey, according to an announcement from the club.

The match was organised by Samuel Eto’o, a former teammate of both Iniesta and Messi, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his charity foundation. However, the match has been threatened after a military coup was attempted in Turkey early on Saturday morning.

According to reports, Messi cancelled his Saturday flight to the country.

Messi, 29, was just one of a number of current and one-time world class players that committed to play in the match. Neymar, Luis Suarez, Eden Hazard, Francesco Totti, Michael Essien, Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol, Eric Abidal, Jay Jay Okocha, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Andres Iniesta, Demba Ba, Didier Drogba and Arda Turan were all expected to take part in the game.

Turan, Puyol, Deco, Abidal and sporting director Alejandro Echeverria, who were already in Turkey, are safe and in contact with the club.

The status of Eto’o’s charity match is unknown, although a report in the Mirror suggested it had been cancelled.

Messi had been on vacation in Ibiza, Spain, and will reportedly stay there after cancelling the flight and his participation in the charity match.

 

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