The world’s top soccer player is facing a backlash in Egypt after donating his shoes to charity during an interview on Egyptian TV.
Lionel Messi, a 28-year-old Argentine forward, presented host Mona el-Sharkawy a pair of his soccer cleats during her "Yes I Am Famous" show last week on independent TV channel MBC MASR, with the understanding that they would be sold and the proceeds donated to charity.
But the usually sure-footed Messi had stumbled into a cultural minefield. The gesture was seen as an insult by many Egyptians, whose culture considers it humiliating to be offered anyone's shoes.
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