Barcelona star Lionel Messi has sparked controversy in Egypt over a charitable contribution.
Messi, during an interview with MBC, agreed for his boots to be put up for auction with all proceeds going to charity.
But the gesture angered some in Egypt.
Egyptian MP Said Hasasin was quoted by Ahram Online: “We’ve never been humiliated during our seven thousand years of civilisation… I’ll hit you with the shoes, Messi. This is my shoe, I’m donating it to Argentina.”
Azmy Megahed, a spokesman for the Egyptian Football Association, also stated: “Our poor people don’t need him. Shoes work for him. I’m confused, if he intends to humiliate us, then I say he better put those shoes on his head and on the heads of the people supporting him. We don’t need his shoes and we don’t need charity from Jewish or Israeli people. Give your shoes to your country, Argentina is full of poverty.”
However, Mona El-Sharkawy, who conducted the interview, sighed: “This is so false. It’s a trend on our show that we take a souvenir from our guest and put it up for auction for charity. I am surprised. I didn’t say we would be giving it to charity in Egypt or any other place.”