A promotion by Mastercard has come under fire on social media. The company announced that it will donate 10,000 meals to starving children each time Lionel Messi or Neymar scores a goal in an official tournament.
The concept has been branded ‘disgusting’ by various people on social media, who have pointed out that, each time a shot from either player is saved, it could mean that the goalkeeper is directly responsible for withholding food from malnourished kids. The promotion, which runs through 2020, will start with this summer’s World Cup in Russia and will focus on deprived children in Latin America and the Caribbean.
A statement from Mastercard reads: "For each goal scored by Lionel Messi or Neymar from now until March 2020, Mastercard will donate the equivalent of 10,000 meals to the World Food Programme to fight childhood hunger and malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Lionel Messi praised the concept, saying: "I’m proud to be a part of this campaign that will help change the lives of thousands of children in my country and other regions of the world. I hope this initiative gives as many smiles as possible to all the children.”
While the fight against world hunger is, without question, a noble one, many on social media have questioned why Mastercard opted to do so via a promotion such as this, and not by simply donating money to the project.
“If they have the money, why not just feed the kids,” was the reaction of @techyes32 on Twitter, while @supadupajack added that it places unnecessary pressure on both players.
If they have the money, why not just feed the kids?— #VIVA (@techyes32) June 1, 2018
“Feels like a lot of pressure to put on them. Why not just donate 100,000 at the start of the tournament,” he tweeted.
Feels like a lot of pressure to put on them? Why not just donate 100,000 at the start of the tournament.— Jack Taylor (@supadupajack) June 1, 2018
Another Twitter user branded the concept as an ‘insult’, adding that if either player misses a penalty they have just contributed to the ongoing issue of world hunger.
It's like playing god with starving children and a massive insult and unfair on the players, if you miss this penalty you've just starved some children. Just give them the food, and do offers for customers for every goal scored.— Chris Thacker (@chrisjthacker) June 1, 2018