Egypt's best known archaeologist called Messi an idiot

FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, file photo, FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, attends a gala dinner held at the Mena House in Giza, Egypt. Egypt’s best known archaeologist has apologized after he angrily called Argentine football superstar Lionel Messi “an idiot” because the striker seemed to show little interest during a tour of the Giza Pyramids. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

CAIRO — Egypt's best known archaeologist apologized after he angrily called Argentine soccer superstar Lionel Messi "an idiot" because the striker seemed to show little interest during a tour of the Giza Pyramids.

Zahi Hawass, famed for his Indiana Jones hat and TV specials on Egypt's ancient sites, showed Messi around the Giza Pyramids last month during a brief visit to Egypt by the Barcelona striker.

In a TV interview aired Sunday, Hawass was asked how Messi's reaction compared to that of Hollywood movie star Will Smith, who also toured the Pyramids with Hawass earlier this month.

"Messi is an idiot, and I am sorry to say that," he snapped. "I was explaining the antiquities to him and there's no reaction in his face. I was explaining things that would make a rock react, but he was just like an idiot."

In a statement late Tuesday, Hawass said he was expressing anger over an inefficient interpreter when he was interviewed on the telephone by a talk show host. He made no mention of an interpreter in his original comments on Messi.

"I apologize to Messi and his fans for the misunderstanding," he said, professing to be an avid fan of the Argentine who watches all his games on television. "The nature of brief telephone interviews does not allow enough time to accurately explain what is meant. That contributed to the misunderstanding," he said.

Hawwas, a former antiquities minister, added that he would like to take Messi to visit the tomb of King Tutankhamun in the southern city of Luxor if he were to visit Egypt again.

Must Read

Egypt puts soccer star Aboutrika on no-fly,...

Jan 18, 2017

Egyptian authorities have added one of the country's all-time greatest soccer players, Mohamed...

Egypt police arrest more fans over soccer riot...

Feb 2, 2017

Egyptian lawyer: Police detain 37 soccer fans in Cairo after arresting 80 the previous day

Calls for exiled player to go to WCup stirs storm...

Oct 17, 2017

A social media campaign to persuade former star midfielder Mohamed Aboutrika to come out of...

WORLD CUP: Salah can rouse Egypt after 28-year...

Apr 24, 2018

Egypt is in Group A at the World Cup alongside host Russia, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia

Egypt in rare unity over love for Salah, loathing...

May 27, 2018

Heartbroken Egypt shares a rare moment of unity: An outpouring of sympathy and love for Salah,...

About Us

Get all the up-to-date breaking news about politics, business, entertainment, sports, lifestyles, weather, traffic, and local news in a seamless digital environment only in Morning Dispatcher.

Subscribe Now!

Quick Links

HomePress