messi-9.png
Getty Images

Barcelona players, including superstar Lionel Messi, are under investigation for breaking COVID-19 protocols relating to gatherings of more than six people. La Liga and Catalan authorities are both investigating the situation.

Initial reports indicated that Messi held a barbecue at his home prior to his club's match against Atletico Madrid this upcoming Saturday. The guest list included several teammates who attended with their wives and girlfriends. Local COVID protocols dictate that gatherings no larger than six people can take place as the global pandemic continues.

Among the more comical details about the barbecue is that the gathering brought attention to itself when the players in attendance began singing "Campeones!" Barcelona are currently two points behind their Saturay opponents, the current league leaders.

Barcelona, meanwhile, are not denying that such a gathering took place. What they are denying, however, is that any rules were broken. The club argues that everyone in attendance was part of the same bubble, which is an exception to the rule regarding the number of people gathered in one place. The barbecue, for what it's worth, was held in an outdoor setting with tables separated to encourage social distancing.

Catalan regional government spokesperson Meritxell Budo said Tuesday, via The Athletic: "The public health agency will study the case."