After all, how often do Singaporeans have a chance to see players like Lionel Messi, etc. in live action, when many wanted to see the multi-time FIFA Ballon d'Or recipient to showcase his wizardry on the lush Kallang pitch?
|The message is clear ...|
That fear was confirmed when the organizers sent out a late statement on last Saturday evening to black and white the absence of Juventus star Gonzalo Higuain, Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi and Messi following days of speculation on the social media platforms.
Unsurprisingly, many fans felt shortchanged by the last-minute pullout of the triumvirate and registered their unhappiness online when the promotion of the match was largely built on the possibility of having Messi playing at the iconic National Stadium.
Although some fans opined such pullouts are common which happened in the past like when English club Liverpool's visit to the Republic in 2009 saw their then captain Steven Gerrard being omitted from the contingent due to his court case despite featured prominently on the promotional materials.
|Without Messi, there were Paulo Dybala (left) and Angel Di' Maria (11)|
"I can't speak for the rest but generally I supposed all fans wanted to see all Liverpool players (when they were here in 2009)." he added by citing that Reds' visit which included a match against the Singapore national team at the old National Stadium.
At the meantime, injury prevented another former Liverpool star Robbie Fowler from playing against Tampines Rovers when he was in town with the now-defuncted A-League club North Queensland Fury in the same year, much to the disappointment when many fans came wearing the Reds' jersey with hopes to see the former England striker in action.
|Singapore made the first move of the game with Khairul Nizam (22)|
Adding to this list was Juventus' decision not to field Carlos Tevez, another Argentine star in the first match to commemorate the reopening of the National Stadium in 2014 due to the infamous "sandy surface".
These unpredictable moments are some of the risks many match promoters have to undertake when organize these kind of games, as big name teams and reputable players are always the key factors to push the ticket sales.
Understandably, these are always the last things many would want to see, be it the fans or the organizers who seems to be at mercy of those teams they are going to feature, as illustrated in the statement by Unicess Sports Group, the match promoter for Singapore - Argentina match.
|Argentine fans made their presence felt in the 6-0 win over Singapore|
Certainly, they would love to but not when it was reported by "Daily Mirror" days later after he flew off from Changi, Messi was spotted holidaying with his Barcelona team mate Luis Suarez and Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas.
"Messi has only just returned from Australia after playing for Argentina in a friendly against Brazil in Melbourne and will be hoping to get a well earned rest." wroted the British tabiold.
Indeed, he need that break before his wedding and on the other hand, Singaporean fans will have to pray hard to see if they ever have a chance to see Messi at Kallang for any of International Champions Cup tournaments slated from 2018 to 2020.