Leeds United have removed a cardboard cut-out of Osama Bin Laden after a fan paid for it to be placed at Elland Road for this weekend’s game with Fulham.
The Championship club had allowed supporters to pay £25 for a photograph of themselves to appear in their usual seats in the form of a cardboard cut-out. But one prankster used a picture of the former al-Qaeda leader and an image of “life-size” Bin Laden was erected in the stadium ahead of the side’s clash with Fulham on Saturday.
Bin Laden was this afternoon trending on social media after one Twitter user spotted the cut-out of the former world’s most wanted man, who was the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York in 2001.
Some fans questioned whether the original image was photoshopped before Twitter user @AllLoveLeeds noticed that his ‘crowdie’ was placed directly next to the ex-militant leader.
He tweeted: “Thanks @lufc I’m next to Bin bloody Laden!!!” before revealing that he had expected a cut-out of his son to be next to him – not the notorious terrorist.
Comedian and Top Gear presenter Paddy McGuinness weighed in on the picture, tweeting: “Nothing surprises me anymore in 2020? Leeds United – Hold my pint.”
Twitter user Seb Marsden tweeted: “Bin Laden… How can the staff be ok with displaying that regardless if it was paid for?”
Comedian David Baddiel said: “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 to know who Osama Bin Laden is.”
Some fans saw the comical side of the cut-out, while others pointed out that Bin Laden was actually believed to have been an Arsenal fan.
A spokesman for the club this afternoon said the ‘crowdie’ has been removed and that “checks are in place to ensure there are no more offensive images” in the stadium ahead of the upcoming Fulham match.
Donald Trump and Gary Lineker were reportedly spotted at Cheltenham Town’s loss in the League Two play-offs earlier this week, whilst Shaquille O’Neal was in the Northampton Town crowd, but he does support the club and his appearance was on purpose.