Leeds United remove picture of Osama Bin Laden from cardboard cut-outs of fans at Elland Road

Championship club have apologised and said they will increase screening procedures to ‘ensure there are no more offensive images’

Jack de Menezes
Sports News Correspondent
Thursday 25 June 2020 08:21 BST
Coronavirus: How has sport been affected?

Leeds United have confirmed that they will increase checks surrounding the use of cardboard cut-outs at Elland Road after an image of Osama Bin Laden was placed on a seat for this weekend’s Championship clash with Fulham.

The Championship contenders have vowed to “ensure there are no more offensive images” following the incident on Wednesday, with the scheme supposed to allow fans to have their own face placed inside the closed stadium to show support for United.

One fan saw that the picture of himself had been placed next to Bin Laden and posted the image on Twitter, prompting Leeds to remove the placard and issue an apology.

Fans have been allowed to sign up to the ‘crowdie’ scheme at a cost of £25 which enables you to have a 76cm x 46cm cardboard cut-out of yourself or a loved one to be installed inside Elland Road.

The scheme has also been used in Australia’s National Rugby League where controversy has struck, with a number of incidents registered in the opening weekend.

A picture of Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s advisor, appeared after he broke lockdown rules last month, while serial killer Dr Harold Shipman was also pictured in the stands of a rugby league match.

A rugby highlights show was also forced to apologise after broadcasting an ill-advised prank in which Adolf Hitler was photoshopped onto one of the pictures.

Leeds have promised to increase their screening procedure, and will hope that there are no further incidents when the Sky Sports cameras are in place for this weekend’s crunch clash on Saturday.

Last weekend’s defeat by Derby County allowed West Bromwich Albion to take the lead on goal difference in the race for Championship promotion, and the Baggies can stretch their lead if they beat Brentford on Friday night before Marcelo Bielsa’s side are next in action.

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