Lionel Messi’s highly anticipated Major League Soccer (MLS) debut was marred by his conspicuous absence from post-game media interactions, raising questions about potential penalties for this violation of league regulations.

Messi, who made a significant impact by scoring in the 89th minute during Inter Miami’s 2-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls, notably did not engage with reporters after the match. This move directly contravenes MLS’s media rules, which require players to be available for post-game media engagements.

Also Read: Is Aaron Rodgers done for the preseason New York Jets vs New York Giants game, Garrett Wilson takes over

Despite Messi’s on-field prowess and the excitement generated by his debut, his decision to avoid media interactions has not gone unnoticed. A Miami spokeswoman, Molly Dreska, confirmed Messi’s unavailability to reporters post-game, leaving fans and analysts curious about the potential consequences.

Dan Courtemanche, MLS’s executive vice president of communications, emphasized the league’s expectations regarding player accessibility to the media. Courtemanche asserted that all players, including Messi, are obligated to engage with reporters following games. In light of this, the omission could result in penalties as per MLS’s established progressive system for media access rule violations.

Also Read: Why did Aaron Rodgers change his jersey number after joining Jets?

The situation has stirred discussions about the importance of player-media interactions in fostering fan engagement and supporting the league’s visibility. Messi’s unparalleled status in the football world only amplifies the significance of adhering to these protocols, given his ability to influence and shape perceptions.

As the aftermath of Messi’s debut unfolds, the spotlight turns to whether the league will indeed impose penalties for his media silence.