Messi Rejects SAFF Invitation To Visit Saudi Arabia
By Omar Saeed
Following Lionel Messi’s recent trip to the Arab country of Egypt, the Argentinian star has expressed his opposition to an invitation by Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) to visit the country. He was attending a private ceremony which was organized by a number of female FC Barcelona fans in the port city of Barcelona for him and his family, Sudaneseonline.com reported.
In response to a question put forward by a female fan regarding his personal view about the activities of women and their rights, Messi emphasized: “Something that might be unknown to many people is that I have long been engaging in news and hashtags related to human rights, including issues related to women’s rights.”
He went on saying: “At my wife Antonella’s suggestion, I have decided to do more social activities like women issues and fighting against poverty and illiteracy, after hanging my boots, and therefore it wasn’t possible for me to agree to visit a country that its women are under heavy pressure due to clear violations of their rights.”
The prominent football star added: “sometimes I wonder if my sister María was born in such a country or similar countries where women are looked at as second-class citizens, what terrible fate could have awaited her?”
Pointing to his travel to Saudi Arabia in 2012 for a friendly match between his national team with the Arab country, Messi added: “of course, I’ll never forget Saudis’ hospitality and remarkable emotions and their massive presence in the stadium and I wish all of them success and hope we’ll see huge changes in their lives.”
At the end, Messi expressed his disappointment for any changes in the near future with a Spanish proverb which goes: “Árbol que nace torcido, jamás su tronco endereza”, (a tree that is born twisted never grows straight.)