Lionel Messi is a global character known worldwide for his prowess on the football pitch. In addition to this, his philanthropic works to the less fortunate and under privileged in society has been a highlight for many across the world. However, the star received massive criticism over his latest Gabonese trip by the Human Rights Foundation. The criticism has been based on the alleged fact that Messi through his visit was supporting the dictatorship in the country and this reflected negatively on the efforts to have the country move forward and achieve a democratic system of governance. The Argentine is considered to be one of the best footballers in the world and has won all the major titles there are to be won in the world of football.
Gabon has been selected to host the African Cup of Nations in the year 2017. Messi visited the country and met the president, Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba who took him on an exclusive tour of the capital city of Libreville. The Human Rights Foundation through its official website expressed dismay that a star of such global influence can be part of a regime that has continuously suppressed the rule of law and one that has failed to honor the basic human right issues. Through the president’s actions, the citizens in the country continue to suffer. The actions of Messi amounted to undermining the credibility of the philanthropic works which he had worked to establish for a long time. The official website here http://humanrightsfoundation.org/news/hrf-condemns-lionel-messis-hypocritical-celebration-of-gabons-dictator-00449?news/hrf-condemns-lionel-messi8217s-hypocritical-celebration-of-gabon8217s-dictator-00449 goes on to state the huge drawback that the actions have caused not only the citizens of Gabon, but to human right advocates across the world.
I have read the article which criticizes Messi for going against his ambassadorial duties as a UNICEF children ambassador and supporting a government that has persistently murdered children and put in place other measures that have increasingly made it hard for children to access basic and higher education. The Human Rights Foundation even went further to criticize the way the trip had been made in the absence and exclusion of the Human Rights Organization. This was a major criticism that has gained wide and international coverage and goes on to show the impact that a celebrated individual has in issues that affect wide audiences. It is a criticism that will definitely have a massive influence on how the nation continues with the preparations for the event.
Messi has returned to the Barcelona training camp and is expected to continue being an influential figure as the Catalan club look forward to another season. Neither he nor his public relations team has issued any statement concerning the criticism by the Human Rights Foundation.