Barcelona barbecue hosted by Lionel Messi under investigation for potential COVID-19 protocol violations

Jason Owens
·1-min read

A bonding barbecue for his Barcelona teammates may have backfired for Lionel Messi.

The soccer star invited his teammates and their wives and girlfriends to his home for a barbecue on Monday, according to Spanish media. The reported gathering has prompted a investigation by La Liga and local authorities into a potential breach of COVID-19 protocols.

Local reports state that the party drew attention from neighbors when players were heard chanting "campeones (champions)" from Messi's Castelldefels property, according to the Associated Press.

A team-building gesture might backfire for Lionel Messi and Barcelona. (AP/Joan Monfort)
A team-building gesture might backfire for Lionel Messi and Barcelona. (AP/Joan Monfort)

Barcelona is tied with Real Madrid for second place in La Liga and has a chance to take over first place in a Saturday matchup with league-leading Atlético Madrid.

Barcelona argues gathering didn't break rules

Barcelona has denied that that there was a breach, arguing that all the players are in the same COVID-19 bubble, according to The Athletic. The team also says that the barbecue was held outside with social distancing measures in place.

La Liga has banned gatherings of more than six people during the pandemic. It's not clear what penalty Barcelona will incur if found to have broken protocols.

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