Lionel Messi  Gabon’s opposition party angry with footballer

Messi has also been criticised for showing open support for President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who critics say used fraudulent means to remain in power.

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The Gabonese Government has been embroiled in a publicity saga, since Barcelona star player, Lionel Messi visited the country to lay the foundation stone for a 40,000 seater stadium in Port-Gentil.

Activists have accused the government of spending well needed funds on Messi. They claim that Messi, and his former Barça team-mate Deco received €3.5m from the government.

 

But the government through it embassy in France refuted the claim saying “The Republic of Gabon strongly denies having transferred or having promised to transfer any sum of money to the Argentine international football player Lionel Messi, who was in Gabon from 17 to 18 July 2015 on the invitation of Ali Bongo.”

Messi has also been criticised for showing open support for President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who critics say used fraudulent means to remain in power.

Also, Gabon’s opposition party said that “lack of respect for standards and principles.”

 

The Union du Peuple Gabonais (UPG) released a statement saying “The messiah of football arrived in Gabon like he were going to a zoo: dirty, unshaven and his hands in his pockets, looking for peanuts to throw to them! When you’re called Lionel Messi and you’re a multi-billionaire, you don’t have the right to present yourself to officials of a republic, even a banana one, with your hands in the pockets of a ripped, tattered pair of shorts."

 

“Gabon isn’t a zoo. We don’t know what the Argentine came to Gabon for, but we at least have the right to denounce his negligence and his lack of respect for standards and principles. We are uneasy with Messi’s attitude and his attire. Only for these reasons, linked to respect for the host country, do we condemn the footballer’s indelicateness, to say the least!” It said.

President Bongo, during a visit with Messi to one of his restaurants said “When I was in  Barcelona  a few years ago, I met Messi who had told me that he would come to visit me in Libreville. It’s a promise he made me. He is a man of honour who just kept his word.”

 

 

 

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