Chinese police announce harsh punishment for 18-year-old fan who invaded the pitch to hug Lionel Messi during game against Australia

Fan facing punishment for Lionel Messi interaction
Fan facing punishment for Lionel Messi interaction

The 18-year-old Chinese fan, who invaded the pitch to hug Lionel Messi during Argentina's 2-0 win against Australia in Beijing, has been placed in detention. He has also been handed a 12-month stadium ban.

The police issued a statement on the matter, saying (via MARCA):

"The Chaoyang District Public Security Bureau placed him in administrative detention according to the law, identifying the 18-year-old, surnamed Di, who will not be allowed to enter a stadium for the next 12 months."

Lionel Messi scored during the win against Australia. He scored the opener with a spectacular curler from outside the box inside two minutes of the game.

The fan not only met Messi but also managed to meet Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. However, he will be facing hefty punishment for his actions.

What did the fan say about meeting Lionel Messi?

The 18-year-old fan later said that he managed to meet Lionel Messi and Emiliano Martinez due to his physical fitness as he was able to run away. He further added that it was his dream to meet Messi.

The fan also pointed out that there were loopholes in security. For that reason, he was able to cross the stadium barricade and run all the way through the pitch. He said (via Leo Messi10 Fan Club):

"In the area of the stands where I was, there were obvious security loopholes, so I rushed down. I apologise for my behaviour of rushing into the stadium, but I am a Messi fan. I would like to take a photo with Messi and get Messi's autograph."

He further said:

"Of course, I also hope to use my negative case to tell the security personnel that your security work is not competent, which gave me such an opportunity. There will be many international competitions in Beijing in the future. I hope you will improve your security capabilities. I found that my physical fitness is good, so after hugging Messi, I ran to the goalkeeper Martinez."

He went on to say:

"I hugged Messi this time, but I didn't get a chance to get an autograph. Next time, I want to go to Miami and ask Messi for an autograph. But I won't rush to the pitch and repeat today's mistake; it's a wrong example; (I) say sorry to everyone."

Argentina will play Indonesia in Jakarta on June 19 in their next friendly. Lionel Messi, along with Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi won't be a part of the team for the game as Lionel Scaloni has given the trio an off.

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Edited by Yash Singh
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