Lionel Messi has been suspended by Paris Saint-Germain for travelling to Saudi Arabia without the club’s permission.
Messi is understood to have asked the Ligue 1 leaders for permission, having twice postponed a scheduled commercial trip there previously due to team defeats.
However, Messi did not get that permission and has therefore been suspended for two games and fined two weeks’ wages after a day of meetings between the club’s hierarchy.
The 35-year-old was pictured in Riyadh on Monday and advertised his presence in the country on his social media. Messi already serves as a tourism ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
The level of response from the club, who are declining to comment publicly, is proof of a new policy at PSG, driven by president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, whereby no one is bigger than the club – and the same rules will apply to everyone.
Messi will now miss the upcoming Ligue 1 matches against Troyes and Ajaccio, but could return for the match against Auxerre on May 21.