May 3, 2016

RELIGION OF PEACE UPDATE: Afghan boy’s family flees Afghanistan in wake of viral Lionel Messi photos.

“Life became a misery for us,” said Ahmadi, speaking to The Associated Press over the telephone from Quetta. He added that the family didn’t want to leave Afghanistan, but the threats were just getting more and more serious.

Ahmadi said he feared that his son, Murtaza Ahmadi, would be kidnapped after becoming an Internet sensation after pictures of him wearing a Messi shirt made out of a striped plastic bag went viral.

The family first traveled to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, but couldn’t stay there long because of the high cost of living. They later moved to Quetta.

“I sold all my belongings and brought my family out of Afghanistan to save my son’s life as well as the lives of the rest of the family,” the father said.

Over a soccer jersey.

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