Spoof ‘Wally’ photo embarrasses Greek club Aris
A globe-trotting comic book character has left officials at
Greek football club Aris with faces as red as his famous sweater
after popping up in a spoof photo in a matchday program.
Instead of using an official Manchester City team picture for
the program for Tuesday’s Europa League match, designers at Aris
downloaded a digitally doctored photo from the internet.
Not only did the mock squad feature famous names from the world
of football who have previously been linked with the big-spending
English club, it also included Wally – a distinctive character from
the popular children’s book ”Where’s Wally?”
A City official spotted the photo at a pre-game function and
embarrassed Aris officials were forced to scrap the program before
the match. Some copies made it into the public domain, but Aris
insisted Friday that they were not circulated.
Aris said Manchester City had provided a photo for the program,
but for technical reasons the printers were unable to use it and
instead downloaded the spoof off the internet – without realizing
there was anything wrong with it.
”As soon as we realized there was a mistake, we halted
circulation and we propose to print a new, correct program for the
return game with Manchester City,” Aris said Friday.
”Where’s Wally?” is an invention of a British illustrator and
challenges readers to spot a young man wearing a
red-and-white-striped sweater and hat in an illustration that
typically contains many other characters at a given location.
The series, first published in 1987, has become popular in other
countries, including ”Where’s Waldo?” in the United States, ”Ou
est Charlie?” in France and ”Where’s Hugo?” in Sweden.
Wally, or at least a man made to look like him, was found in the
spoof City photo in the fourth row between England internationals
James Milner and Joe Hart, complete in his usual attire.
Above him in the fifth row was AC Milan striker Zlatan
Ibrahimovic, one of a host of world-class players to make the
enlarged 87-man squad.
Others included Barcelona playmaker Lionel Messi, Real Madrid
forward Cristiano Ronaldo and striker Wayne Rooney, who plays for
City rival Manchester United.
Associated Press writer Costas Kantouris in Thessaloniki,
Greece, contributed to this report.