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Report: PSG suspends Lionel Messi for Saudi Arabia tour

Lionel Messi has been suspended by French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain for traveling to Saudi Arabia without the club’s permission, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The person did not specify the length of the suspension, although French media reported it as two weeks. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The two-week ban means Messi will miss PSG’s next two matches. Both L’Equipe and RMC Sport reported the suspension without citing sources.

Paris Saint Germain vs FC Lorient - Ligue 1 Uber Eats

Lionel Messi during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Lorient at Parc des Princes on April 30, 2023 in Paris, France.

Tanni Badreddin/Difodi Photo via Getty Images

The person told the AP that World Cup Champion He will not be allowed to train or play with the team and will not be paid during his suspension.

PSG rejected Messi’s request to go on tour, the person said.

Messi has a commercial deal with Saudi Arabia to promote tourism in the Middle Eastern country.

The suspension comes at a delicate time as the French club hopes to extend the Argentine star’s contract beyond this season.

Messi’s trip follows PSG’s surprise 3-1 loss to Lorient on Sunday, with the defending champions holding a five-point lead over Marseille with five games remaining in the season. Messi played the whole match.

L’Equipe reported that PSG coach Christophe Gaultier has promised to give his players two days off – Monday and Tuesday – if they beat Lorient. Instead, the team practiced on Mondays and had Tuesdays off.

The forward joined PSG from Barcelona two years ago and has been subject to speculation over where he will play.

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