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Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling apologizes for suicide bomber costume

updated 7:51 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling could feature for England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling could feature for England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
  • Chris Smalling apologizes for dressing as a suicide bomber
  • The Manchester United defender was making a play on the popular "jagerbomb" drink
  • Stoke City's Jermaine Pennant was last week pictured dressed as Osama Bin Laden
  • Smalling is hoping to be part of the England squad for the 2014 World Cup

(CNN) -- Manchester United football star Chris Smalling has apologized after pictures appeared in a British newspaper of the defender dressed as a suicide bomber at a private party.

The England international wanted to make a joke based around the popular "jagerbomb" drink by dressing in a costume decorated with empty bottles of jagermeister and cans of the energy drink Red Bull.

"Chris and his girlfriend hosted a fancy dress party to celebrate Christmas and their belated birthdays with close friends in the assumed privacy of his own home," Smalling's management company Wasserman Media Group said in a statement.

"He dressed in a costume consisting of empty bottles of jagermesiter and cans of Red Bull strapped to his chest in an attempted comedy play on the popular 'jager bomb drink'.

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"Although he fully accepts in hindsight it was an ill-thought out and insensitive decision, absolutely no harm was intended whatsoever and he apologizes for any offense caused."

Smalling, who hopes to be part of the England squad which will travel to Brazil in June for the 2014 World Cup, is not the only footballer to have courted controversy with his choice of fancy dress outfit.

The girlfriend of Stoke City's Jermaine Pennant recently posted a picture of the winger dressed as Osama Bin Laden at a New Year's Eve party.

Outside of sport, Britain's Prince Harry issued an apology in 2005 after he was pictured dressed as a Nazi at a friend's fancy dress party.

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