Al Fayed defends 'Jacko' statue

LONDON - A controversial statue of singer Michael Jackson was unveiled by Mohamed Al Fayed at Fulham's Craven Cottage ground on Sunday with the club chairman saying that if fans did not like it, they could go and support another team.

Al Fayed, a close friend of the American singer who died in 2009, danced along to Jackson's music after unveiling the statue in bright sunshine before Fulham's home Premier League match with Blackpool.

"Why is it bizarre?" Al Fayed asked reporters afterwards. "Football fans will love it.

"If some stupid fans don't appreciate such a gift, and understand the things I believe in, they can go and support Chelsea or go somewhere else."

A number of fans have expressed their dismay at the statue, which overlooks the River Thames and depicts Jackson, who was a guest of Al Fayed at a match in 1999, wearing a silver jacket with gold braiding, black trousers, white socks and his trademark one glove.

The statue was originally going to be sited at Harrods department store in London before Al Fayed sold it.