KOCHI: The Kerala Police’s decision to use football legend Cristiano Ronaldo’s image from the viral video, where he is seen removing two Coca-Cola bottles from the table and insisting on drinking water instead during a Euro Cup press conference, has not gone down well with his fans here. The police are using the image to spread awareness of the importance of wearing face masks.
In the post, which was shared on the department’s Facebook and Twitter handle, the police’s social media team has replaced the two soft drink bottles with hand sanitisers and facemasks. The post asks the public to use them, indirectly pointing out that Ronaldo was not wearing a facemask. “These are not intended to be avoided. It should become a habit,” the post said.
While netizens praised Ronaldo for removing the Coca-Cola bottles off the table, which wiped off $4 billion of the soft drink major’s market capitalisation, the Kerala police post, which received over 7k likes on Facebook, also saw many come down on the Police’s ‘unprofessional approach’ using Ronaldo’s image and taking a snipe at him.
“During the press conference, Cristiano removed the Coca-Cola bottles ... His photo should not have been used in such a campaign by cops. Instead, police should have used images of people waiting outside liquor stores,” Subin D K wrote.
Some commented on how police have failed in implementing Covid protocol. “The police department sponsors the Covid protocol violations that take place in front of the beverage outlets. What kind of social distancing do people following there?” asked Noushad Abdul Rahiman.“I haven’t seen Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wearing a mask when he holds a press conference,” Suhaib K M wrote.
However, ADGP Manoj Abraham said the image was used to spread awareness to the public. “ Our intention was good. We never wanted to give a negative image to the football legend. Since a post using Ronaldo’s image would help to reach a mass audience, we used the image,” he said.