Messi fan forced to flee

Sunday Star-Times - - World -

A young Afghan foot­ball fan who shot to fame after he was pho­tographed in a Lionel Messi shirt made from a plas­tic bag has been forced to flee with his fam­ily to the cap­i­tal, Kabul, after crim­i­nal gangs and the Tal­iban threat­ened to kill or kid­nap him, his mother says. Shafiqa Ahmedi said that since be­com­ing an internet sen­sa­tion, her now 7-year-old son Mur­taza – a fan of the Ar­gen­tinian star – had not been able to attend school, and the cold and damp in their lodg­ings in Kabul were mak­ing him sick. Mur­taza met his hero in Qatar in De­cem­ber last year. His mother said crim­i­nals had threat­ened to kid­nap the boy after de­mand­ing money, as­sum­ing that his brush with fame had some­how re­sulted in a wind­fall.

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