A dad has taken to Twitter to defend his 10-year-old son from accusations of racism after he dressed up as one of his football heroes.
The schoolboy – who can't be named for legal reasons - blacked up his face and donned a white Mohican wig to pose with Leeds United player El Hadji Diouf.
But when he posted the photos on his own Twitter account, the photos were circulated across the world, and many users didn't see the funny side. Many questioned the wisdom of the outfit and others accusing him of racism.
One wrote: "This is a touching photo mixed with a touch of racism."
But the boy's father leapt to his son's defence, writing on Twitter: "I want to apologise if [my son] dressing up has caused offence.
"He asked to dress up as Diouf so we let him for a bit of fun. We completely underestimated the response it would get. Hes only 10 and likes the banter so lay off please thanks for positive comments."
The fan met his favourite player outside Elland Road ahead of his team's home game against Bolton Wanderers on New Year's Day.
He said Diouf and other Leeds players found the 'costume' - a blacked up face and head, Leeds kit and white mohican - funny. As well as Diouf, the boy also posed with Leeds' captain Lee Peltier, players Ryan Hall and Sam Byram and manager Neil Warnock, who he said found it funny.
Later on, the boy wrote on his Twitter account: "Some pl on here think im racist for going todays game fancy dress loke diouf he loves it all the players do loads of fans been taking pics."
He also said 'its a bit of fun' and claimed the footballer wanted the picture on his phone and took one himself. The fan said he even shaved his head to look more like his hero and 'loves Leeds'.
He said: "Im a big leeds fan and love diouf."
He added: "I didnt realise i wud get this much attention thanks for your comments but im gonna watch rest of match now."
He ended his Tweets by saying: "Just to let u know that the makeup and hairstuff i was wearing was from a fancy dress shop and washed straight off am now in my pjs."
What do you think?
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