English football stars Harry Maguire and James Maddison have sparked controversy after being pictured at Dubai’s Fame Park, a divisive zoo full of exotic animals.
The Manchester United defender and the Leicester City midfielder spent some time in the Middle East after England’s heroic quarter-final exit from the Qatar World Cup.
However, their visits to Fame Park have been condemned by animal welfare charities. Scott McTominay, Maguire’s Manchester United teammate, also recently visited the zoo and received criticism for playing tug-of-war with a tiger.
World Animal Protection’s Katheryn Wise expressed her disappointment, saying, “Captive wild animals face a lifetime of suffering, just for the enjoyment of tourists. Wild animals are not ours to exploit.
They belong in the wild.” In a series of Instagram posts, Dubai-based entrepreneur Saif Ahmad Belhasa shared snaps of Maguire with a variety of animals, including spiders, a huge snake, a bear, and baby monkeys.
Maguire appeared unfazed as he held the animals and even let the snake coil itself around him. The footballer was seen wearing a black baseball cap, Dior t-shirt, grey shorts, and sliders.
Maddison also seemed to enjoy his visit to Fame Park and posed for photos with Belhasa and the animals. Maguire is believed to have returned to Manchester United training this morning and is expected to start their first Premier League game back from the World Cup against Nottingham Forest on December 27.
He could even feature in their upcoming League Cup match against Burnley. A number of other footballers have been photographed with Belhasa at Fame Park in recent weeks, including AC Milan stars Rafael Leao and Sergino Dest, Swiss aces Breel Embolo and Ismail Jakobs, as well as Brentford’s Saman Ghoddos.