Why was Lionel Messi detained in China?

Messi detained in China

Argentina are scheduled to face Australia in an international friendly at the Workers Stadium in Beijing, on Thursday. The reigning FIFA World Cup champions will be looking to build on their good form and impress fans in China.

But it looks like Argentina’s preparations for the friendly faced a minor hiccup as captain Lionel Messi was detailed by Chinese police. Arriving in Beijing, the 35-year-old was detained by police in the airport due to passport issues, as he reportedly didn’t apply for a visa.

Messi possesses both Argentine and Spanish passports, and he took the latter to China. Spanish passports don’t have visa-free entry to China, but they can enter Taiwan without a visa. The Argentine reportedly thought that Taiwan was a part of China and didn’t apply for a visa.

Initially, language was an issue between Messi and the Chinese airport guards, but it got resolved soon. He received an expedited visa and will be able to play in the friendly.

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