After failing to win any of their first four preseason games, Inter Miami finally registered a victory as they beat Hong Kong XI 4-1 on Sunday, but star attraction Lionel Messi‘s absence prompted the country’s government to express its disappointment.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner, who is reportedly struggling with a hamstring injury, was not included in Inter Miami’s matchday squad despite head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino telling a news conference on Friday that Messi was “likely” to feature in the game.

Martino also elected to leave the team’s three other former Barcelona stars — Sergio BusquetsLuis Suárez and Jordi Alba — on the bench from the start in Hong Kong.

Spectators chanted “refund,” and the Hong Kong government said match organisers Tatler Asia may face a reduction in funding after Messi stayed on the bench during the match.

The Major Sports Events Committee (MSEC) had granted 15 million Hong Kong dollars ($1.92 million) for the event along with a grant of 1 million Hong Kong dollars for the venue, the government said in a statement.