Milan - Struggling Serie A giants AC Milan were left
red-faced amid a social media backlash that mocked the club for a bizarre
pre-match 'Haka' ritual dance prior to a Serie A game on Thursday.
Seven-time European champions Milan hosted
relegation-haunted Carpi at the legendary San Siro stadium looking for a win to
boost their bid to qualify for next season's Europa League.
But fans were left baffled in the lead-up to kick-off when
two 'teams' of players -- dressed to look like AC Milan and Carpi -- appeared
on the pitch.
After both teams ran down the end of the pitch, the 'Milan'
team proceeded to perform a Haka -- the ritual war dance usually performed by
New Zealand's All Blacks prior to their rugby games.
With electronic advertisement hoardings blazing the message:
'Men, this is your ritual', it quickly became apparent the 'players' were
actors and the dance all part of a publicity campaign for a well-known men's
Several of Milan's players currently appear in television
adverts for Nivea cream, although Thursday's display did little to smooth the
concerns of fans amid yet another disastrous season for the club.
Also read: Berlusconi receives Chinese bid for AC Milan - reports
Indeed, Milan fans around the world voiced their disgust at
the depths to which Milan, and football, has plummeted. Owner Silvio Berlusconi
is actively seeking a buyer for either a majority or minority share in the
In a series of posts on the micro-blogging site Twitter fans
unleashed their fury.
"I'll stop following Milan right now if they used the
f****** Haka to promote Nivea products. Genuinely f****** digusted," said
one Twitter user, @Jamorushton.
Another, @88NTaylor said: "AC Milan doing the Haka last
night man. Jesus wept ???? I am cringing now can't imagine how bad it must have
been in the stadium."
Milan's failure to beat a team currently struggling to stay
in Italy's top flight was the bottom of the barrel for disgruntled fans of a
team that will miss the Champions League for the third year in succession.For
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