Messi boot donation provokes angry response
World Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi found himself the unlikely figure of controversy in Egypt after a local politician and a soccer official reacted angrily when he donated a pair of his boots to raise money for charity.
MBC Masr channel broadcast an interview last Saturday with Barcelona’s Messi on the television program ‘Yes I am Famous’, but the announcement that the Argentina forward would auction his boots for charity provoked an unexpected response.
Member of parliament and television presenter Said Hasasin, appearing on his own talk show, took off his shoes and said he would donate them to the poor of Argentina.
“Whose shoes do you want to sell, Messi? How much do you think it will get? You don’t know that the nail of a baby Egyptian is worth more than your shoes? Keep your shoes to yourself or sell them to Israel.”
“Messi, we Egyptians are 90 million people, who have pride, we have shoes.”
“We don’t eat off the money of other peoples’ shoes. I would have understood if he donated his Barcelona uniform to the Egyptians, it’s accepted. But just the shoes? It’s humiliating to all Egyptians and I do not accept this humiliation. Egyptians may not find food, but they have pride.”
“We Egyptians have never been humiliated before during our seven thousand years of civilization.”Lionel Messi