Recently I found an interesting story in The Telegraph. That was an article about Lionel Messi, but, this time it was not about football or anything connected to the game. It is an article about Messi’s trip to the African country of Gabon. And, there is nothing strange in the news, but, when I started to read the article, I saw many things that are not nice. The first of all was Messi visiting the dictator Ali Bongo. This man is the president of Gabon and a man who is accused by Human Rights Foundation for many terrible things. The second one was the criticism of the world’s best footballer by Human Rights Foundation because he visited the president of Gabon. Well, are there any reasons for that kind of reaction by HRF? Did Messi make a mistake because he visited a dictator who is responsible for many misdeeds?
Something about Human Rights Foundation
Firstly, let’s see what HRF stand for. Its Facebook page describes it as a nonprofit organization that takes care of the human rights in whole world. Those kinds of organizations are a necessity for humanity nowadays. If there is any kind of violation of human rights anywhere in the world, this organization tries to find the way to resolve the problem and to present it to rest of the world. Also, HRF takes care about education in the third world countries. Their main goal is to promote freedom and tolerance in every part of the world. And, that is not all; people from Human Rights Foundation are trying to raise awareness about the violation of basic human rights. So, like I already said, HRF is organization that is really necessary for humanity. But, is there a reason to accuse Leo Messi for the visit to Ali Bongo? I say, yes.
Coincidence or intention?
There is one question that bothers me. Did Messi really know who Ali Bongo was and who he was meeting? This footballer has his own organization called the Leo Messi Foundation that helps children get education and health care. So, for me it is really strange that Messi visited Bongo. It is hard to believe that Leo didn’t know about accusations against Gabon’s president. After all, that is a man who is accused of murdering children and cannibalism, which is really hard to miss, if you really are interested in meeting your host. On the other side, there is a possibility that Messi didn’t know anything about this African country and that someone else organized this trip. Both possibilities are realistic but, what is true? Messi met Bongo in Barcelona several years ago. The president of Gabon says that since then Messi and him were friends. It is unlikely that that is true. The question still stands. Does Messi know who Bongo really or was this all just a coincidence? I am looking forward to hearing the answer.
One fact still stands. Leo Messi went to Gabon to lay the first stone at the construction of a stadium where the African Cup of Nations in 2017 is to be held. That is connected to sport. Anyway, if Gabon’s president is responsible for all these misdeeds, why does he promote a large sport tournament, such as the African Cup of Nations? In my personal opinion, if Messi deserves critics for visiting Gabon, then the Confederation of African Football also deserves criticism by the Human Rights Foundation because they gave Gabon the chance to organize the tournament.