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Disappointed Messi fans receive free tickets to CPL game in Langley

Vancouver Football Club call it an ‘unexpected celebration of soccer’ on Saturday
In the Vancouver Football Club’s last match in Hamilton, the local team beat Forge FC, 2-1. Head coach Afshin Ghotbi looked on from the sidelines. (Jojo Yanjiao Qian, Forge FC/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Die hard soccer fans know the name Lionel Messi.

And many of his followers, young and old alike, have been anticipating his arrival in Vancouver, when he and the Inter Miami were set to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps this weekend.

Well, it turns out the Argentine sports superstar isn’t likely to make the Major League Soccer (MLS) game at BC Place on Saturday night, according to the Whitecaps.

Messi, Luis Suarez, and Sergio Busquets will not make this trip, said Axel Schuster, Whitecaps FC CEO in acknowledging the expected fan disappointment.

RELATED: Soccer superstar Messi expected to miss MLS game in Vancouver: Whitecaps

In light of Thursday’s announcement about Messi, Vancouver Football Club (VFC) decided to offer fans a chance to catch another soccer game closer to home earlier that same day.

Any fan who purchased a ticket to the Whitecaps versus Inter Miami matchup are eligible to receive a free ticket to Vancouver FC’s first derby match of 2024 against Pacific FC on Saturday, May 25, explained VFC’s public relations coordinator Katelyn White.

The only requirement is that fans show proof of purchase to VFC via email ( or in person on game day.

Additionally, any fan who has previously purchased a ticket to Vancouver’s derby match against the Vancouver Island team this weekend is eligible to receive a free additional ticket to the game.

Those who wish to claim the latter offer can also do so by emailing

Vancouver FC’s game on Saturday is a celebration of B.C. soccer as VFC hosts the first derby of 2024 against Pacific FC.

A combined total of 20 B.C.-born players are rostered for Vancouver and Pacific (13 and seven, respectively), which demonstrates a commitment to growing and developing the local soccer landscape, team head coach Afshin Ghotbi said ahead of the weekend.

Saturday’s match kicks off at 3 p.m. at Willoughby Stadium, next to the Langley Event Centre.

Vancouver FC was in Ontario last weekend, where they defeated Hamilton’s Forge FC 2-1. Their next game, after Saturday’s on home pitch, is in Winnipeg on June 2.

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