FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi has drawn the anger of an Egyptian parliament member after offering to donate a pair of boots during an interview on the MBC Masr channel, according to the Guardian.
Messi was appearing on the Yes I am Famous show and gave a pair of boots to be auctioned off for charity. In response, MP Said Hasasin accused Messi of donating the boots out of pity for Egypt, calling his actions “humiliating.”
“Messi, we Egyptians are 90 million people, who have pride, we have shoes. We don’t eat off the money of other peoples’ shoes,” Hasasin said while hosting his own talk show. “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 civilisation.”
Azmy Megahed, a spokesman for the Egyptian football association, was also offended by Messi, responding that he should donate his shoes to Argentina, which is “full of poverty.”
Mona El-Sharkawy, who interviewed Messi on the show, said that it is typical of guests to give an item to be donated to charity and that Messi was not presenting his boots to Egypt.
“I am surprised, I didn’t say we will be giving it to charity in Egypt or any other place,” El-Sharkawy said. “I don’t know why they said he is presenting it to Egypt. This was never said.”