After Argentina’s shocking defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia on the 3rd day of FIFA 2022, fans of the sport are saying that Argentine captain Lionel Messi’s partnership with ed-tech brand BYJU’s is to blame for the major upset. 

Argentina succumbed to a 1-2 shock defeat in the hands of Saudi Arabia in their first Group C encounter on Tuesday at Lusail Stadium, Qatar.  

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BYJU’s appointed Messi as the global brand ambassador of its social impact arm, Education For All, earlier this month. The tie-up goes into effect ahead of the FIFA World Cup and was to feature BYJU’s as an official sponsor.

“More than 5.5 million little hearts today have 10 reasons to smile brighter. Yes, Lionel Messi is the first Global Partner of BYJU’S Education For All,” Byju’s co-founder Divya Gokulnath said regarding the tie-up.

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After Argentina’s crushing defeat, fans took to Twitter to blame the partnership as an ill omen for the celebrated team. “BYJU’S curse moving beyond cricket now #ARGvsKSA,” one person said, while another noted, “Bad performance in a big Tournament is not a coincidence when you are brand ambassador of BYJU’s” One more said, “It is the curse of BYJUS.”

Another noted, “I blame BYJU’s.” One more commented, saying, “Israel and BYJU’S curse is real Guys.” Another quipped, “Bad performance in a big Tournament is not a coincidence when you are a brand ambassador of Byju’s.”

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It is important to note that these are all reactions from disappointed fans and there is nothing called the “BYJU’s curse” in real life. 

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The Indian cricket team lost the ODI World Cup in the UK, T20 World Cup in 2021 and 2022, World Test Championship after partnering with BYJU’s in 2019. 

Messi partnership came at a crucial time for BYJU’s as the brand is incurring heavy losses and is looking at several measures to cut costs. One of the most crucial measures came in form of firing 2,500 employees and closing physical offices in a number of cities. It also revamped its sales activity from on-field sales to inside sales.

The company, however, continued to promote its brand, spending close to $30-$40 million as the first Indian company to sponsor a Fifa World Cup.