One of the coaches in the American Football League demanded that the referees provide greater protection for the Argentine star, Lionel Messi, when he begins to participate with his new team, Inter Miami, just as happened previously with basketball legend Michael Jordan.
“Messi should enjoy greater protection from the referees in a league known for his physical cruelty, as was the case with Jordan in the Basketball League,” said the coach, whose name was not revealed by the British “The Athletic” website.
According to many basketball coaches, Jordan was receiving greater protection, because those responsible for the NBA professional league were afraid of his injury, and thus the competition was negatively affected financially and marketingly.
Talk to coaches, players and executives across MLS and you’ll get varied sentiments for how referees should handle Lionel Messi’s presence on the field in America.@MLSist On how the league’s on-field officials will deal with the superstar: https://t.co/ikhNlXXS7m pic.twitter.com/qp60KVFGuE
– The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 8, 2023
According to the site, Messi’s attainment (36 years) and his legendary status in the world of football already requires special protection for him, to spare him injuries from which he will not be able to recover quickly.
Messi may be exposed to some rough interference in his first match with Inter Miami on July 21, 2023 when he plays against Cruz Azul in the League Cup (a tournament in which American and Mexican clubs compete), or this may happen later with the resumption of the “NFL” matches. (MLS) by players simply for their fame, states The Athletic.
The famous sports website asked how the referees committee in the American Federation dealt with the arrival of a star of Messi’s value to the competition, noting that many stars had previously played in the tournament, but they were not of the value and status of the “flea”.
Robert Sibega – an American international referee – believes that the uproar surrounding Messi’s recruitment may greatly affect how referees are called for the matches in which the Argentine star is participating with Inter Miami.
“Messi is not at the level of David Beckham or Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” said Sibega. He is on a different level than them, but we as rulers; The last thing we want is to spoil a game or allow players with less talent and experience to do something for Messi.”
Sibega believes that the Referees Committee should assign its best elements to manage the matches that Messi will play with Inter Miami.
– Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) June 7, 2023
And he stated, “There must be a special referee, who must be one of the old and experienced referees, and if they do not do that, the course of the match may be negatively affected.”
Jorge Mas, owner of Inter Miami, had previously admitted that the planning process for contracting with Messi began in 2019 and lasted 4 years.
And those responsible for the American League are seeking to make the most of Messi’s arrival during the next few years, whether that is through making economic profits from selling broadcasting rights, or bringing in other heavyweight stars like the Argentine legend.