Spanish league to probe Messi’s barbecue for teammates

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Spanish league said Tuesday it will investigate a gathering of Barcelona players at Lionel Messi’s home.

Local authorities are also expected to check if any COVID-19 protocols were broken during the gathering on Monday.

Spanish media said Messi invited his teammates and their partners for a barbecue to help the squad bond ahead of a decisive Spanish league match next weekend.

Barcelona can move into first place on Saturday if it beats league leader Atlético Madrid at the Camp Nou Stadium.

The barbecue came a day after Barcelona defeated Valencia 3-2 to stay within two points of Atlético with four rounds to go.

Local media said players could be heard chanting “campeones (champions)” from inside Messi’s house.

Barcelona did not immediately comment.

Sanctions against players and the club are possible but not likely to be severe.

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