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14 Jun, 2020 16:20

From hero to zero: Messi fanatic to face CRIMINAL charges after pitch invasion at behind-closed-doors game in doomed selfie bid

From hero to zero: Messi fanatic to face CRIMINAL charges after pitch invasion at behind-closed-doors game in doomed selfie bid

A daring invader who astonished television audiences by running onto the pitch in pursuit of a selfie with Lionel Messi during Barcelona's behind-closed-doors La Liga return will face criminal action, the league has announced.

The audacious supporter, who charged into the action during Barcelona's win at Mallorca in an Argentina shirt, had revealed that he was awaiting news of a possible punishment from police after officers told him to delete a photo he had taken near goalscorer Jordi Alba and provide his personal details.

Now organizers La Liga have said they will seek to prosecute the intrepid intruder because he broke strict safety regulations around the return of the sport in Spain during the pandemic, ignored security staff and entered the pitch without permission.

The league is on high alert as it aims to finish the season while attempting to protect Messi and his fellow stars from a virus that has hit Spain badly, introducing stringent distancing measures at clubs and stadiums as well as frequent rounds of testing.

The invader had conspicuously not worn the protective gloves and masks that ground staff are expected to wear during matches, including members of the security team who grabbed and escorted the man from the turf after an incident in which he claimed to have screamed at Messi for a photo.

"His actions constitute a crime," the league confirmed in a stern statement. "La Liga wants to express its absolute condemnation of this type of conduct that jeopardizes the health of others and the integrity of the competition."

Local reports described the fan as a French Mallorca supporter and quoted him as claiming that Messi had refused a photo "due to the virus."

"I wanted the photo with Messi but in the end I didn't take anything," he admitted. "It was a beautiful experience."

Also on rt.com 'I wanted a photo': Pitch invader SCREAMS at Barcelona star Messi after evading security at behind-closed-doors match (VIDEO)