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Afghan boy went viral for Messi’s plastic shirt wants to flee from Taliban

Afghan boy went viral for Messi’s plastic shirt wants to flee from Taliban

The Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi, who rose to fame when in 2016 some photographs were made viral in which he appeared with a shirt made from a plastic bag with the name of the footballer Leo Messi and his number 10, is now hidden in Kabul fearing possible retaliation from the Taliban.
Afghan youtuber died, along with a brother and a cousin, in an attack on the Kabul airport
The boy, who is now 10 years old, lives with his family in a small apartment in the Afghan capital where they fled two months ago from their home village in the southern province of Ghazni, escaping, also then, from the Taliban attacks.
However, they did not expect that a short time later the Islamists would manage to take control of Kabul after a lightning offensive, capturing the capital on August 15 without encountering any resistance from the Afghan security forces.
“I am trapped at home and I cannot go out because I am very afraid of the Taliban,” young Murtaza, who belongs to the attacked Hazara Shiite minority, a constant target of attacks, told EFE, especially by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.
I want to travel to safety from Afghanistan. Please save me from this situation, “begged the boy, who asked the world’s footballers for help, especially Messi, so that he can leave the country with his family and” play football in peace.
Something that Murtaza does not stop doing at any time, even if it is inside his house, a passion for the ball that was clear since in 2016 he was photographed with a shirt made from a plastic bag with the blue and white stripes of the Argentine team and the name of Messi and his number 10 painted.
The threats to the little fan of Messi

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But those images, which allowed him to meet his idol in person in Qatar, have brought him more misfortunes than joys, since his sudden fame brought with it threats from extremists or even fear of the possible kidnapping of the child, as many think that the star Argentina had made a large donation to them.
The boy’s journey since then even took him to Pakistan, where they came to seek asylum in the United States without success, or to live in other Afghan provinces, including Kabul itself, where they fled for the first time in a hurry in 2018, leaving at home. the ball and the signed shirts that Messi had given him.
Nightmares of the ‘Afghan Messi’

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The boy’s family and Murtaza himself say that sometimes during the night, the young man wakes up screaming for fear of the insurgents: “In my dream I see that the Taliban are coming, knocking on the door and yelling at me.”
After the Taliban took full control of Kabul on August 15, and following the total withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan this week, also with the end of regular evacuation flights, the boy’s family now fears that the Islamists initiate “door-to-door” searches.
«What will happen to us? We were already under threat, “explained to EFE Mahdia Ahmadi, a 22-year-old sister of the minor, who explained that when they arrived in Kabul two months ago, the city was safe, and they even had police and soldiers protecting them.
Now “we have no one”, and whenever “there is a knock on the door, Murtaza thinks it is the Taliban and runs towards me or my mother to hide,” says the young woman.
Threats prevented even Murtaza from going to school for years, and now the family only wants to leave the country so that they can take refuge in a safe place away from Taliban who, according to some reports, have begun to retaliate.. (EFE)

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