Messi boot donation provokes angry response in Egypt

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi has caused controversy in Egypt after a politician and football official reacted angrily to his donating a pair of boots to raise money for charity.

Television channel MBC Masr broadcast an interview with Messi during the programme ‘Yes I am Famous’ last Saturday, in which the Argentina captain announced that he would put a pair of boots up for auction.

In Egypt, as well as other Arabic countries, removing one’s shoes can be viewed as insult. Egyptian member of parliament Said Hassain, who hosts his own talk show, said: ‘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.”