Soccer Aid began in 2006 to extend a helping hand to UNICEF with the primary aim of raising funds for the aggrieved, by organizing a friendly football match between England and the Rest of the World (ROW) XI, comprising celebrities and former football players.
Recently, the tenth edition of Soccer Aid ended with World XI lifting the title for the fourth time on the trot by winning the game on penalties after a tiring 2-2 draw in normal time.
The match saw a tremendous turnout and the Soccer Aid revealed that raised close to 15.6 million British pounds by the end of the game for the grieving children in Yemen and war-torn Ukraine.
As for the game, Usain Bolt captained the winning side which had iconic legends in Petr Cech, Cafu, Patrice Evra, and Dimitar Berbatov to name a few while the England side included Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville, the former footballer, and TV personality, Mark Wright, Sir Mo Farah (four-time Olympic Champion) and recently retired Mark Noble captained by the evergreen Liam Payne.
Amongst the English side was also a Soccer Aid regular in Chunkz. The 26-year-old YouTube sensation who has over 1.8 million subscribers came on the pitch for Alex Brooker, Soccer Aid’s first-ever disabled player.
Just before the halftime, Chunkz was fouled in the box by Noah Beck, a TikTok star playing for the World XI. Going by the rule of ‘You win it, You take it,’ Chunkz stepped up and placed the ball on the penalty spot but before he could take it, Jamie Carragher came rushing and informed him that Mark Wright, the former left-back of EFL League Two side Crawley Town, is the designated penalty taker of this team.
Chunkz was taken aback, clearly furious at this decision. He knew he was wronged and was seen mouthing the words, ‘I wanted to take it,’ extending both his arms towards Wright, who adjusted the ball on the penalty spot and fired it past Cech.
It was lucky for Wright to have scored it, but this has drawn criticisms and jeers from fans on Twitter who lashed at Wright for not allowing Chunkz to take the penalty in a friendly game.
This has opened a barrage of tweets from fans, drawing yesterday’s comparison to every day or obvious situations in football that can happen or have been happening for a while.
Like when Giorgio Chiellini pulled Bukayo Saka’s shirt in the Euro final, stopping him in his tracks to head forward.
Or when Bruno Fernandes steps up to take the penalty for Manchester United while Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected in the background. Chunkz would have been happy about this comparison to Ronaldo, but not for the penalty being snatched away from him.
One user suggested that robbing Chunkz of taking the penalty is like playing against the noble cause that this match stood for.
While some wanted to remind Wright that he wasn’t playing for England and could have allowed Chunkz to take the penalty.
Chunkz is clearly a fan favourite and to disappoint him was equivalent to disheartening and killing the hopes of many who were rooting for their star to make a mark on the world stage. But it all fell flat because it was Wright.
Here’s how some others responded.