Lionel Messi’s grill has been screened for COVID-19 violations

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A bonding barbecue for his teammates in Barcelona could have failed for Lionel Messi.

According to the Spanish media, the soccer star invited his teammates and their wives and friends to their home for a barbecue on Monday. The reported gathering has sparked an investigation by La Liga and local authorities into a possible violation of the COVID-19 protocols.

Local reports say the party caught the attention of neighbors when players heard “Campeones (Champions)” sing from Messi’s Castelldefels estate, according to the Associated Press.

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

Barcelona are linked to Real Madrid for second place in the league and have the chance to take first place in a matchup on Saturday against leading Atlético Madrid.

Barcelona argue that collecting was not against the rules

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

La Liga has banned gatherings of more than six people during the pandemic. It is not clear what penalty Barcelona will suffer if protocols are found to have been broken.

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