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Mexican lawmaker pushes to ban football superstar Leonel Messi from Mexico

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AL RAYYAN, QATAR: Lionel Messi (10) of Argentina celebrates their victory after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Argentina and Australia at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on December 03, 2022. (Evrim Aydın - Anadolu Agency)
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Dec 07, 2022 - 08:35 AM

MEXICO CITY (AA) – A Trans activist and federal deputy in the lower house urged the Mexican Foreign Ministry to declare Argentinian football superstar Leonel Messi “persona non-grata” on Tuesday.

The move stems from a viral video where the Argentinean captain appears to “kick” a Mexican football jersey while celebrating his team’s Nov. 26 victory in a World Cup match against Mexico in Qatar.

Maria Clemente García Moreno’s initiative describes Messi’s actions as deliberate when he “stepped on and then kicked with contempt” his rival’s jersey, which she said constitutes an affront against Mexico’s national identity.

The video went viral with Mexican fans expressing their displeasure with the Paris Saint-Germain striker, who they called disrespectful for having the Mexican jersey on the ground.

Mexican boxing champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez also accused Messi of disrespecting the Mexican team in a series of tweets, including one now deleted where Alvarez wrote: “He (Messi) better ask God not to run into me.”

Alvarez later apologized and said the video was a misunderstanding. “I got carried away.”

Messi addressed the controversy surrounding the video and Alvarez’s comments.

“It was a misunderstanding. Those who know me know that I never disrespect anyone; it is part of a locker room what happens after a game to leave the shirt there. I don’t even have to ask for forgiveness because I didn’t disrespect the people of Mexico or the jersey,” he said in an interview.

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