Thursday, June 20, 2013

Beckham's appearance at Shanghai stadium sparks stampede that leaves seven injured

David Beckham's appearance at a China university set off a stampede by fans that made the soccer player's publicity tour look like a Justin Bieber mall trip.

Beckham — who is being paid to make weekly trips to promote the sport as China's Global Ambassador for Football — had to cancel yesterday's visit after fans stormed the gates of the Tongji University soccer stadium in Shanghai to catch a glimpse of the retired English soccer star.

Seven people were injured as a wall of security guards and police officers were trampled by the group of over 1,000 students and youngsters. 

The whole scenario seems bizarre considering the fact that the 38-year-old, married father-of-four retired in March and the worldwide Beckham craze fizzled out about a decade ago.

Beckham is being paid a small fortune for his three separate week-long tours to lend his clean-cut image to the Chinese league, which is riddled with corruption and foul play.

At Thursday's scrum, one female police officer was carried away with blood streaming from a face wound while another male officer was pictured lying on the ground unconscious with a bloody head wound.

Several delirious fans had to be restrained. In all, five security staff and two fans were injured and taken to hospital.

The event was immediately cancelled.

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