Boy wearing improvised 'Messi 10' carrier bag shirt reportedly found

An image of the boy spread across social media earlier this month

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The Independent Football

A Kurdish television channel claimed to have found the young boy who was pictured with an improvised ‘Messi 10’ Argentina shirt, made out of a blue and white plastic carrier bag.

Their claims have since, however, been refuted by Azim Ahmadi, an Afghani living in Australia, who claims that the boy is his five-year-old nephew Murtaza Ahmadi.

The original image of the boy, who was reported as being from Dohuk in Iraq, was spread widely across social media after initially being posted by Turkish football blog Fanatik.

A campaign was subsequently started to identify the child and present him with a genuine ‘Messi’ shirt.

Kurdistan24tv became the first to claim to have reached the boy and interviewed him on camera wearing a counterfeit version of the latest Barcelona shirt with ‘Messi 10’ on the back.

The news report claims that the boy’s name is Homid, he lives in Dohuk and that the original photograph was taken two years ago. Kurdistan24tv also say that the child’s father is fighting with the Peshmerga against Isis in Iraq.

However, a report by the BBC, which emerged hours after the Kurdish channel's claim, compares the original photo with those of Ahmadi's nephew.

Ahmadi's brother Arif, Murtaza's father, then spoke with the broadcasting company and confirmed his son was the boy with the improvised 'Messi 10' carrier bag.

"This little kid really loves Messi and football," he told the BBC. "It is not possible for us to buy [a jersey] for him. Because I am a simple farmer. So the kids decided to use the plastic."

Neither reported identity has been confirmed.