A boy was playing soccer Wednesday when suddenly self-described "bulldozer" Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accidentally tackled him to the ground.
Morrison was all smiles after releasing the child following the snafu and high-fived him after the boy appeared unharmed. The incident has been dubbed by some as tackle-gate and comes days before Morrison's reelection bid on Saturday.
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“I look forward to coming back on another occasion. I think that when that grandstand comes down, I hear it might need a bit of a bulldozer to knock it down, so I might be able to help with that,” Morrison quipped after the encounter, per the Guardian.
The 54-year-old prime minister was showing off his soccer skills while playing with children under the age of 8 at the Devonport City Soccer Club in Tasmania, Australia, Wednesday afternoon. Morrison has noted he "can be a bit of a bulldozer" as a leader and put that energy on display during the game.
Luca Fauvette, the child, had been trying to prevent Morrison from "scoring at all costs," according to the soccer club. Morrison apparently lost his balance and bear-hugged Fauvette during the fall, footage from the encounter showed. Fauvette appeared unharmed.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accidentally tackled a child. Read more here: https://t.co/HNtRyEn6eE#ausvotes #auspol pic.twitter.com/0sHqAgnLz2— SBS News (@SBSNews) May 18, 2022
“Where’s Luca? Please tell me he hasn’t gone off to the hospital,” Morrison asked in jest afterward, according to the outlet. He also posed for a photo with Fauvette.
The child “jumped up with a big smile and kept playing,” undeterred by his prime minister, said Keegan Smith, Fauvette's coach.
After the incident, the soccer club hailed Fauvette for showing determination during the game and said he will likely be "the star of the show" at school on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the Labor Party, which is challenging Morrison's Liberal Party in the election, poked fun at Morrison for the blunder. The two parties are locked in a tight race.
No one is safe from the bulldozer #FireTheLiar https://t.co/vVw4FLZYyk— Jason Clare MP (@JasonClareMP) May 18, 2022
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On Tuesday, a member of Morrison's party announced an upgrade to the soccer facility worth 3.5 million Australian dollars, roughly $2.4 million in the United States.
Children have accidentally been tackled by leaders of Commonwealth nations before. In 2015, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson accidentally pushed down a child while playing a game of rugby in Tokyo. Johnson handled the blunder in a similar way as Morrison, posing for a photo with the child.
Watch Boris Johnson knock over a Japanese child whilst playing touch rugby in Tokyo http://t.co/Ass8H0a5TY pic.twitter.com/z8NywS2B78— Alfred Joyner (@alfredjoyner) October 15, 2015