A father in Thailand has claimed that his son was dumped as a mascot for Chelsea's game in Bangkok and replaced by the prime minister's son, a report said Wednesday.
Nine-year-old Noppadol Sudlapha was in line to walk out with the Chelsea players for Wednesday'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.
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.
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.
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.
According to another report, Yingluck's 11-year-old son Supasek Amornchat, nicknamed "Pike", was also among the children who took part in Chelsea's coaching clinic this week led by star players.
"It was a lot of fun," he said, according to The Nation. "I realised how much more I have to learn. They are very good. If we want to get to their level, we need to train a lot more."