Sports

Ex-Premier League Star subjected to abuse after video of him hugging daughter go viral

A footballer turned commentator has been attacked by vicious online trolls after he was filmed putting his arm around his daughter and stroking her chest.

Craig Foster, who played for English teams Portsmouth and Crystal Palace , was filmed during the line-up of the Australian Legends game against Liverpool at ANZ Stadium in Sydney today.

The footage shows the loving dad with his arm around his eight-year-old daughter’s chest and continues to focus on him as he innocuously strokes her – but the footage shown on Australian TV has led to a furious backlash.

Despite the Legends winning 4-0 against Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool , discussion of the game was eclipsed by the furore over Foster’s hand gesture.

Special Broadcasting Service commentator Foster, 46, went online to talk about the ‘special moment’ of having his daughter as a mascot.

Foster wrote on Twitter: “Was very special for all the players to have our children share tonight’s experience as mascots. My beautiful 8 yo daughter. Unforgettable.

“Shame my 16 yo girl and 18yo son couldn’t be there as well. I certainly would have hugged them very close too. Special for a father,”

But that didn’t stop him from becoming the focus of serious abuse after the video above went viral.

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Within hours, more than 10,000 people had commented on the clip on Facebook.

One poster wrote: “I think most people are flat out shocked and not entirely sure how to react, to be honest.”

Medwen Phillips added: “Very uncomfortable to watch! If I was the mum i would storm over and give him a mouthful singing anthem or not!!”

Others sprang to Foster’s defence, with one saying: “Can’t be affectionate toward your own kid any more.

“Everyone who thinks this is wrong is actually perverted for thinking such a thing.”

And Chris T Bone said: “It’s his daughter he would not be looking at it like you p***** are, I would do the same to my own daughter and think nothing of it but affection.

“I know what he’s doing and what he means come on let’s not look at everything so bad most people are still good in the world, we hope it’s just an unfortunate piece of film.”

Foster, who is married to wife Lara, is also is a mentor at his former school Kadina High in Goonellabah, New South Wales.

A midfielder, he played for Portsmouth and Crystal Palace in England and made 29 appearances for the Australia national team.

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