Frank Lampard's imminent move to New York City FC has been marred after one of the city's newspapers printed a story raising a 9/11-related incident involving the former England international from 13 years ago.
The former Chelsea player looks set to join the new MLS franchise and could be unveiled as soon as this week having turned down a number of other offers after becoming a free-agent in June.
However the arrival of the 36-year-old in the Big Apple may be a bumpy one following an article in the New York Daily News.
The newspaper essentially re-told a story dating back to 2001 that involved Lampard and four Chelsea players in which they were accused of mocking American tourists a day after the 9/11 terror incidents that involved the attack on the Twin Towers in Manhattan.
"In 2001, Lampard was among four British players who mocked American tourists stranded at a hotel near Heathrow Airport because of the Sept. 11 attacks," read the story in the New York Daily News.
It continued: "Just 24 hours after the tragedy, Lampard and his Chelsea team-mates drunkenly stripped, swore and vomited in front of the upset US tourists. He and his mates were fined by the club."
Video: Lampard - 'You have to move on'
While Lampard was fined by Chelsea for the incident, along with team-mates Jody Morris, John Terry and Frank Sinclair, there was not actually any evidence that the American tourists had been mocked - only acknowledgement that the timing of the incident was insensitive. The players involved also denied "categorically" that they intended to insult any individuals.
Antonio Parisini, a manager at Heathrow's Posthouse hotel where the incident occurred, told the BBC at the time: "They were causing lots of noise and knocking things over in the bar and upsetting everyone. They were really drunk."
The players reportedly later moved on to the nearby Airport Bowl bowling alley, where they shocked onlookers by diving down the lanes head first.
They players were each fined two-weeks wages by Chelsea which was donated to a fund to help families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
- More about:
- Chelsea F.c.