Look, I’m a Man United fan, but even I became a fan of Mo Salah last year when he broke every conceivable record in sight for Liverpool.
I imagine, then, that if you’re a die-hard Liverpool fan – and a 9 year-old one at that – the Egyptian king is going to be pretty high up on your list of role models.
And how do you properly pay homage to your idol? Well, you could dress up as them on Halloween, I suppose.
That’s what Madison Mcguane, from Limerick did – donning the famous red kit, curly hair wig and a fake beard.
But then to complete the look, Madison’s mum, Marion Mcguane and make-up artist Tammy Meehan covered the youngster in fake tan, which some people weren’t too happy about.
“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”.
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.
“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.
“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.”
‘Artist’ Tammy has also defended the decision.
The 34-year-old said:
“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 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.”
So, what do you think of that?
I’m not being funny but if you’re that bothered about a nine-year old dressing up as her idol, you’ve got serious problems.
I guess it’s just 2018 for you…
Images via Mercury Press and Media/Getty