Vancouver Whitecaps face lawsuit over Messi no-show

A soccer fan from British Columbia, Ho Chun, has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Major League Soccer (MLS) after purchasing tickets for a match he believed would feature superstar players Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Sergio Busquets. Chun paid $404 for two tickets to the May 25 game between the Whitecaps and Inter Miami CF, only to learn two days before the match that the star players would not be attending.

Chun claims that promotional materials falsely advertised the appearance of these players, leading to inflated ticket prices—up to ten times higher than other Whitecaps home games. This lawsuit follows a widespread petition demanding compensation and transparency for the absence of Messi.

The lawsuit aims to represent all ticket holders worldwide and seeks a full refund for unused tickets and a partial refund for used tickets, reflecting the price difference between this match and average Whitecaps games. The claim includes evidence of misleading advertisements featuring Messi, Suarez, and Busquets on various platforms since last December.

Chun accuses the Whitecaps and MLS of recklessness for not confirming the players’ attendance and cites additional expenses incurred by out-of-town fans. Despite the Whitecaps offering food and drink discounts, free meal combos for fans under 18, and tickets to another game, Chun is seeking punitive damages under B.C.’s Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and the federal Competition Act.

The Whitecaps and MLS have not yet responded to the lawsuit. Whitecaps CEO Axel Schuster stated they had no control over the opponent’s roster and aimed to inform fans promptly about the players’ absence.

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