Citizens of the Australian City of Melbourne looking to the heavens could have been forgiven for believing they had witnessed the Second Coming as a 46 metre high Christ the Redeemer statue emerged through the mist. Jesus was seen wearing an Australian soccer football jersey with the slogan #KEEPTHEFAITH. The betting firm, Sportsbet said its replica of Brazil’s world famous landmark will give a muchneeded dose of divine intervention for our Socceroos this week. But the statue attracted criticism for its association between religion and gambling.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan said the balloon promotion was disrespectful. Sportsbet PR manager Shaun Anderson defended the stunt saying it was about sending a message of support to the team in Brazil using a Brazilian icon. “Let’s be honest — the Socceroos need divine intervention to progress past their three group games so the message we’re aiming to get across is that for all Aussies to keep the faith in the Socceroos,” he said.