MO SALAH is more than just a footballer to your average Liverpool fan.
Dubbed the “Egyptian King”, the Premier League golden boot holder has built up a cult following for his immaculate eye for goals and it is even claimed his stardom has helped counteract Islamophobia in Europe and all over the world.
One of his adoring fans, nine-year-old Madison Mcguane from Limerick in Ireland, loves the striker so much she decided to dress as him for a Halloween party.
Donning the famous red Liverpool kit, curly hair wig and a fake beard, Madison was almost ready to go.
However, when her mum Marion and a local make-up artist Tammy Meehan decided to give the child a healthy dose of fake tan, not everyone was pleased.
“Halloween is ghouls, monsters, creatures ect (sic). How does dressing as a ethnic sport person relate?” wrote one irate Twitter user. “Already recently tv presenter taken to task painting herself black for Halloween party. Ignorance is not bliss!”
Hannah J Davies, a writer for VICE and The Guardian, went as far as to say the little girl’s outfit was “casual racism”.
Just days earlier a man dressed as Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction sparked furious reactions on social media and an awkward public transport argument in London over his blackface costume.
Madison’s mum has defended the costume. Picture: Mercury PressSource:Supplied
However, the girl’s mother took to social media to defend her decision and insisted the outfit would not cause offence.
“Mo Salah is Madison’s idol — so she was adamant she was dressing up as him, even though it was a Halloween theme, she is a little girl and her hair is snow white,” she said.
“Initially I was shocked because I thought people would be offended and that we’d have to be really careful that people might not take it as a joke.
“But she didn’t think anyone would take offence to it — he’s her idol and she was certain she was dressing up as him.
“I said but it’s for Halloween and she said to me ‘I don’t care mum I’m dressing up as Mo Salah’.
“It was her idea and she really wanted to do it so I fell in love with the idea and the challenge and said let’s do this.
“Liverpool is Madison’s and the whole family’s favourite team but she’s never been to see a game yet.
“She started liking Mo Salah the minute he signed for Liverpool — Maddison knows more about football now than I do.
Liverpool fans can’t get enough of Mo Salah. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
“From his moves to his character she knows everything about him — she knows he’s Egyptian and the way he plays.
“Madison watched the whole World Cup and buys those stickers, she’s always looking for Mo Salah in there.
“If you asked her who her favourite player in the world was she’d say Mo Salah is number one and Messi is number two.
“She fights with all her friends over it because they’re all Manchester United fans — she stands her ground when it comes to Liverpool.”
“I don’t think anyone would have been offended because people dress up all the time and people change their colour all the time for fancy dress.”
Make-up artist Ms Meehan also took to social media to defend her work.
“Marion contacted me to do Madison’s makeup as Mo Salah, I looked through his pictures to get an idea of what to do and I shaped out his face, tried to get his skin tone as good as I could.
It’s 2018 ? How is this still happening ? pic.twitter.com/Iaifc7wDGx
A blackface costume sparked outrage on a London Underground service. Picture: TwitterSource:Supplied
“It took me about 25 minutes and then she was out playing with her football straight away.”
I know what you’re thinking, all that in just 25 minutes — it’s an uncanny.
“I don’t think anyone would have been offended because people dress up all the time and people change their colour all the time for fancy dress.
“Madison doesn’t understand things like that, she’s a little girl and Mo Salah is her idol.
“She loves him, it’s a big thing for a girl too to go out looking like a boy as well she could have got bullied but she didn’t.
“Loads of people thought it was brilliant, other kids want to do it and loads of people have messaged me asking me how I did it. I think by next year all kids will be dressing up as footballers.
“Not one person commented on the fact we fake tanned her, they just thought it was a brilliant idea because she went out as who she wanted to be he’s her idol and she loves him that much so why not — it’s only paint, I would never want to offend anyone and I don’t think it does.”
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