Turkey Coup Attempt: Lionel Messi Cancels Trip to Turkey for Eto’o’s Charity Game
Lionel Messi has cancelled his scheduled flight to Turkey on Saturday following the ongoing military coup in the country.
Messi, 29, was lined up to partake in a charity game for the foundation of former teammate, Samuel Eto’o, in Antalya, along with a host of superstars that include Nigerian duo Jay Jay Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu.
The Argentine ace had been due to interrupt his holiday in Ibiza for the event but will now remain on the Balearic Island, Mirror writes.
Eto’o currently plays in Turkey for Antalyaspor. Image: Mirror
Other big names scheduled to be at the event include Neymar, Luis Suarez, Diego Maradona, Eden Hazard, Francesco Totti, Michael Essien, Xavi, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Andres Iniesta, Demba Ba, Didier Drogba and Arda Turan.
Deposed Turkish president Recep Erdogan was also reportedly set to attend and play in the star-studded fixture, with Eto’o full of praise for him.
“We will contribute to the promotion of Turkish tourism thanks to this organization,” said Eto’o, who now plays for Turkish side Antalyaspor.
“President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the other government officials have supported us.”
Proceeds from the now cancelled match were set to go to the Samuel Eto’o’s Private Foundation, a non-profit organization striving to raise awareness of the needs of children and the disadvantaged on the African continent.