THAILAND - A father in Thailand has claimed that his son was dumped as a mascot for Chelsea's game in Bangkok last night and replaced by the prime minister's son, a report said.
Nine-year-old Noppadol Sudlapha was in line to walk out with the Chelsea players for yesterday's friendly and had already gone through pre-match rehearsals, his father Kriangyos told the Bangkok Post.
But Noppadol and several other children were told that they had been taken off the list of mascots in favour of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's son and the children of five other cabinet ministers.
Mr Kriangyos told the newspaper that his boy was upset by the slight and no longer wanted to see the game between the English Premier League giants and the Singha All-Star XI at Rajamangala Stadium, AFP reported.
An official from beer company Singha, which is organising the match, said parents had been free to apply for their children to be mascots, but not all had been successful.
Children of VIPs
But the official, who did not want to be named, acknowledged that most of the mascots were the children of VIPs or Singha executives.
"Had I been authorised to make the selection, then I'd have selected the prime minister's son," he was quoted as saying.
But Thai officials denied the father's claims.
A government spokesman said the list of mascots had been drawn up months in advance, rejecting comments by the boy's father.
"Everything was done according to procedure," the spokesman told reporters. "There is no way other names were taken off."
According to an earlier report, the prime minister's 11-year-old son Supasek Amornchat was also among the children who took part in Chelsea's coaching clinic this week, which was led by star players.
"It was a lot of fun," he said, according to another Bangkok daily The Nation, calling it an experience he "would never forget".