English football has been hit by its own cardboard fans controversy after Osama Bin Laden’s face was spotted in the crowd at a Leeds United game.
Last month the NRL suffered the embarrassment of having the face of a notorious serial killer appear on a cardboard cut-out of a fan at a game.
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And now Leeds United have suffered the same fate.
With crowds not allowed at matches due to the coronavirus crisis, leagues around the world have been using ‘fake fans’ so stadiums don’t look completely empty.
As we’ve seen in the NRL and English football, fans can pay to have their face appear on a cardboard cut-out.
But Leeds have been forced to apologise after the face of terrorist Bin Laden was used.
Fans watching on TV spotted a photo of the former al-Qaeda leader, who was killed in 2011, in the crowd at Elland Road.
The club said it will now “ensure there are no more offensive images” among its 15,000 ‘Crowdies’.
However fans and pundits are fuming on social media, with many gobsmacked that Bin Laden’s face was allowed to slip through the cracks.
Comedian David Baddiel lashed out, saying: “What's amazing about this is that someone at Leeds is educated enough to realise that even a fake crowd should not be entirely white, but not educated enough to know who Osama Bin Laden is.”
What's amazing about this is that someone at Leeds is educated enough to realise that even a fake crowd should not be entirely white, but not educated enough to know who Osama Bin Laden is. https://t.co/kLRKpAuiF8— David Baddiel (@Baddiel) June 24, 2020
They’ve put me next to bloody Bin Laden!!! Ffs!! 🙈😡 pic.twitter.com/7TAO98V3ww— WeAllLoveLeeds (@AllLoveLeeds) June 24, 2020
Disgusting and racist, who decided on that? The GK! Why not have cut outs of Hitler or KKK? Leeds again #clearlyracistclub— Wylis (@wylis_6e5) June 24, 2020
NRL fans spot serial killer in crowd
Last month, fans watching the Panthers and Knights clash in the NRL noticed the face of a notorious serial killer on one of the cardboard cut-outs.
Users on Reddit pointed out that Harold Fredrick Shipman’s face was in the stands - an English doctor believed to be the worst serial killer in history.
Shipman took his own life after being sentenced to life in prison in 2004.
He was found guilty of the murder of 15 patients in 2000, but it is believed he had more than 250 victims.
In Australia the NRL has resumed with no crowds, so people can pay for a cardboard cutout of themselves to be placed in the crowd and show up on TV.— Jed (@JedRose17) May 31, 2020
Someone did this today with the face of Harold Shipman, the most prolific serial killer in modern history pic.twitter.com/CErpxForP6
In a similar prank, a cardboard cut-out image of Dominic Cummings appeared in a seat at an NRL game following a controversial trip the aide to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made during lockdown.
NRL launches ‘fan in the stand’ initiative where supporters pay $22 to ‘take their seat’ during games behind closed doors.— Gary Carter (@GaryCarter_1979) May 29, 2020
👀 Good to see Dominic Cummings testing his eye sight in Parramatta... pic.twitter.com/cQJghzTWUk