A series of messages that appeared on the stadium scoreboard during England’s fourth Test in India have been condemned as “sick” by a fan group.
References to Madeleine McCann, Adam Johnson and Josef Fritzl were displayed after fans were invited to post messages during the game.
The Barmy Army, an unofficial England fan group, criticised those who posted.
“It’s a no-go area. It’s a very sick thing to do,” said Paul Burnham, the group’s managing director.
Burnham said that he was not aware who was responsible for the messages that appeared during India’s victory over England at the Wankhede Stadium.
“We’re 99% certain that it is not anybody connected with us,” he said. “If it was, we would not react well to that in terms of their membership.
“I completely condemn the messages. They’re not funny at all. There’s a line you don’t cross, and this has gone well over the line. People shouldn’t be allowed to do things like that and get away with them.”
The comments posted by fans included a message about McCann, who was three years old when she disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia de Luz, Portugal, in 2007, and has not been found.
There were also references to Fritzl, who kept his daughter Elizabeth captive in the basement of his home in Austria for 24 years, and former Sunderland footballer Johnson, who was sent to prison for six years in March for child sex offences.
In addition, there was a joke about Bobby Sands, an IRA hunger striker who died in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland in 1981.
Burnham added: “The way technology is now, it allows people to do things that they normally wouldn’t. I hope that the media can track these people down.”
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