Lionel Messi has come in for criticism after donating a pair of boots to charity in Egypt. The Barcelona star made the gesture after doing an interview with MBC. However, in the Arab world shoes are considered unclean objects and hitting someone with any kind of footwear is a serious insult.
Lawmaker and TV presenter Said Hasasin didn't bite his tongue: "The Egyptians have never been so humiliated during our 7000 years of civilisation. I will hit you with my shoe, Messi. This is my shoe, I donate it to Argentina."
A spokesman for the Egyptian FA then phoned the show, adding: "We don't need his work shoes and we don't need charity. Give your shoes to your country, Argentina is full of poverty."
Criticism to the side, Messi has received support, namely from former international striker Mido. "An author's most prized possession is his pen, a footballer's most prized possession is his boots. I hope we can all stop making us a big deal about this," he tweeted.
The person who carried out the interview with Messi, Mona El-Sharwaky, excused the Barça man, too: "On our program we ask our guests for something to put up for auction for solidarity. Messi never said he was going to give his boots to Egypt as charity."