Lionel Messi misses Club World Cup semi-final

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN: Lionel Messi was absent from Barcelona's Club World Cup semifinal against Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday because of abdominal pain.

Messi has renal colic, which is commonly attributed to kidney stones, the club says.

"Lionel Messi will not be playing in today's Club World Cup semifinal against Guangzhou Evergrande," read a statement on the team's website. "The Argentinian striker is suffering from renal colic."

Messi took part in training after the team arrived in Japan on Monday but woke up Thursday morning with stomach pain.

Neymar, who is recovering from a groin injury, was on the bench.

If Barcelona reaches Sunday's final, Messi's availability will "depend on the outcome of further medical tests," the club adds.

The news is a major blow to Barcelona, which has not won its three previous matches.

The winner will face South American champion River Plate in the final.