Footballers have a habit of putting their multi-million pound feet in it on social media and former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand is no stranger to a Twitter storm.
His latest gaffe involves the classic dish of Nasi goreng – fried rice mixed with vegetables, meat and sweet soy sauce, and sometimes topped with a fried egg – found throughout South East Asia.
As The Straits Times reports, whilst on a recent trip to the Singapore Grand Prix, the pundit tweeted a picture of himself in his hotel robe tucking into a plate of Nasi goring with the caption “Robe game is nice!! Nasi goreng lunch. Keeping it local in #Singapore.”
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) 17 settembre 2016
The tweet sparked outrage amongst Indonesians who were furious about perceived appropriation of a dish they consider an important part of their cultural heritage. Plus, it also inspired a weird cat picture, naturally.
— i.am...™? (@AsTallAsHerEyes) 17 settembre 2016
However, many Singaporeans and Malaysians couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, pointing out that variations of the dish, which is, at its core, fried rice, can be found across the region.
The spat goes much deeper than Nasi goreng of course, with long–standing cultural, political and environmental tensions between the South East Asian neighbours.
And what was Rio’s response? Chill out guys, essentially.
Was there really uproar with my Nasi goreng tweet??!! Relax guys...'local' in SE Asia...look back at my indonesia trip...case closed! 1Love!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) 19 settembre 2016