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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Human Rights Foundation hits out at Lionel Messi over Gabon trip

The ESPN FC panel address the recent photos that have surfaced of Lionel Messi's trip to Gabon, where Messi caused controversy for being slightly under-dressed to meet the president.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been criticised by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) for showing "enthusiastic support for the dictatorship" during his trip to Gabon last month.

Messi, 28, visited Gabon, which is set to stage the 2017 African Nations Cup, and met President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who drove him around the capital, Libreville.

HRF president Thor Halvorssen said on his organisation's website: "In providing PR services to Gabon's Bongo family, Lionel Messi has seriously undermined the...

 By Ian Holyman

Lionel Messi dressed 'like he were going to a zoo' - Gabon political party

Lionel Messi meets Gabon president Ali Bongo Ondimba (right).

Gabon's political opposition have accused Lionel Messi of showing a "lack of respect for standards and principles" after the Barcelona star met the African nation's president wearing denim shorts and a T-shirt.

Messi, 28, jetted into Gabon earlier this week on the first leg of a five-day visit to Africa, and met President Ali Bongo Ondimba in relaxed clothing.

A statement from the Union du Peuple Gabonais (UPG) party read: "The messiah of football arrived in Gabon like he were going to a zoo: dirty,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ghana beat Mauritius and Cameroon win in African Nations Cup qualifiers

Ghana thrashed Mauritius 7-1 in their opening 2017 African Nations Cup qualifier in Accra.

The Group H favourites were ahead after just 10 minutes against Mauritius, who are ranked 176th in the FIFA World Ranking -- some 142 places below their hosts.

Christian Atsu opened the scoring, heading home a Harrison Afful cross for his ninth international goal, and it was 2-0 shortly afterwards when Jordan Ayew was presented with a tap-in by Jeffrey Schlupp.

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria combine to score five goals in Argentina's win

Ahead of their Copa America campaign, Argentina's Ezequiel Garay says the squad are still hurting following their FIFA World Cup final defeat to Germany last year.
Sergio Aguero, left, and Angel Di Maria teamed up to help Argentina trounce Bolivia.

Sergio Aguero scored a hat trick and Angel Di Maria added a brace as Argentina dominated Bolivia 5-0 in a friendly as both teams tuned up for the Copa America.

Even without their biggest star Lionel Messi, who won the Champions League with Barcelona on Saturday, Argentina ran over Bolivia from start to finish.

The Albiceleste settled the match in a burst with three goals in five minutes in the first half. Di Maria opened the scoring in the 25th minute, Aguero added his first from the penalty...

Gabon choice for African Nations' Cup reflective of West African strength

West Africa has been confirmed as the guardian of the continental game for at least the next eight years after Gabon were named as the country who will stage the 2017 African Nations' Cup (ANC). This year's competition was held in Equatorial Guinea and the tournaments from 2019 through 2023 are scheduled for Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Guinea, respectively, giving the region hegemony as hosts.

Already West Africa is considered the powerhouse of the African game, despite CAF's head off being stationed...