In a bizarre twist of misidentification, Chris Hoy was subjected to a torrent of abuse on the social networking site Twitter yesterday for a controversial professional performance at… a football game?
The British cyclist, who was knighted in 2009, is more accustomed to praise for his performances around the Velodrome, which have won him three Olympic gold medals in the past. But instead the Olympian was greeted to tweets like ‘Referee was absolutely disgusting, Chris Hoy you are an absolute scumbag’ amongst many others.
For many sports enthusiasts, the news may have seemed a little out of context to verbally assault our nation’s most successful track cyclist of recent times for a performance as a football referee. But Tottenham Hotspur fans saw it relative all the same.
Mistaken identity for Hoy…
Of course, the 35-year-old cyclist was subject to a classic case of mistaken identity, as the intended name-calling was for Premier League referee Chris Foy, whose controversial display at the Spurs game against Stoke City had prompted unrest amongst the Tottenham faithful.
In fact as amusing as it was, Hoy seemed to really enjoy the confusion re-tweeting examples of abuse from his personal account.
To be fair to Tottenham fans, Stoke fans were also getting the referee and cyclist mixed up. Unsurprisingly though, the Potter fans were far more complementary in their statements, wrongly congratulating Chris Hoy for his Premier League referee ‘debut’.
The British Cyclist even starting a trending harsh tag on twitter – ‘#FoyNotHoy
So to Chris Foy…
Chris Foy, that’s the referee not the Olympian, did have a hand in controversially guiding Stoke to victory. The 49-year-old referee did award a penalty for Spurs in the second half, but Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp was still critical in his performance. The Spurs boss was adamant this London side should have had another two penalties and the claims Redknapp made were more than plausible when the footage was shown on the replay. Foy even wrongly disallowed an Adebayor goal offside and sent Younes Kaboul off in the dying moments of the game.
Spurs fans could be forgiven for mistaking the identity of referee Chris Foy given that rage must have clouded their vision.
Aside from this though, the hope of the nation is that the next time Chris Hoy’s name is trending on twitter it is for the right reasons. That being of course that our Olympic cyclist has raced his way to three more gold medals at the London Games.