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Vancouver Whitecaps face lawsuit over Messi no-show game

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Whitecaps face potential lawsuit over Lionel Messi no-show'
Vancouver Whitecaps face potential lawsuit over Lionel Messi no-show
After soccer superstar Lionel Messi did not travel to Vancouver for a match with the Whitecaps, fans expressed frustration on social media. Now, one fan is taking his anger to B.C. Supreme Court. As John Hua reports, the ticketholder wants the Whitecaps and the MLS to be held accountable for Messi's no-show.

A B.C. soccer fan has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Major League Soccer (MLS) over an alleged “bait-and-switch” strategy used to promote a soccer game featuring the international soccer star Lionel Messi.

On May 25, 2024, the Vancouver Whitecaps were scheduled to face Inter Miami CF at BC Place.

Click to play video: 'Whitecaps fans angry with Messi no-show in Vancouver'
Whitecaps fans angry with Messi no-show in Vancouver

Fans were excited about the possibility of seeing World Cup winner Lionel Messi play on the field accompanied by Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez and Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets, only to be notified that they wouldn’t show up just two days before the game.

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On Tuesday, June 4, Ho Chun submitted a notice of a civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court and is seeking refunds for the approximately 50,000 fans affected by the situation.

The lawsuit claims that using these famous players as “promotional materials” was a “bait,” that drove price tickets at a “ten times higher rate” than the usual price of other Vancouver Whitecaps home games.

Chun is asking for a partial refund, equivalent to the difference between the ticket price and the average price of tickets for other Vancouver Whitecaps home games, and a full refund for unused tickets and the possibility for people to claim additional loss or damages.

Click to play video: 'Lionel Messi skipping Vancouver game Saturday'
Lionel Messi skipping Vancouver game Saturday

Vancouver Whitecaps FC claims that they first learned that Messi, Suárez, and Busquets were not going to make the trip to Vancouver only on May 23.

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When asked for comment, the club says that they “acted immediately to communicate the news to ticket holders” on their May 25 statement and promised fans complimentary tickets for a future 2024 Whitecaps home game.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC said in a statement that they will not be providing any further comments due to the legal proceedings.

The MLS also said it was aware of the filing, and would not be commenting.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

Since last week, more than 2,500 Whitecaps fans have signed a petition calling on the Vancouver soccer team to issue a refund for the match, saying they were deceived and deserve compensation for unusually high ticket prices.

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