The father shown in a viral video pushing his young son to block a shot during a football game insisted the boy “tripped over his feet”.
Footage showing Phil Hatfield giving a ‘helping hand’ to his son Osian, 6, in a Welsh under-eight game has been viewed by more than 25 million people since it was posted last week.
It sparked allegations that Mr Hatfield had unfairly intervened in the match between Bow Street Magpies and Ysgol Llanilar FC in west Wales on Thursday.
In the video, Mr Hatfield can be seen walking up to the goalmouth and appearing to shove his son into the path of a shot by an opponent.
His rookie keeper son collapses to the ground and blocks the low shot. But the opposition score after his parry is struck into the net. Mr Hatfield turns away in disgust and walks off.
Mr Hatfield, of Aberystwyth, told the Daily Mail he intervened when he noticed his son was losing concentration.
He said he decided to “nudge” Osian when the opponents started to attack.
“It wasn’t a shove as such. He just tripped over his feet and went down.”
For the record, the match finished 2-2.
The footage prompted former Wales and Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall to offer advice to Osian, tweeting: “Keep hold of first ball.”
But football authorities in Wales are taking a more serious view of the incident, reports the BBC.
A Football Association of Wales spokesman said: “While we appreciate that this video has gone viral and that many find it humorous, the FAW has a code of conduct for parents, guardians and spectators.
“We’re duty bound to request observations from the club in relation to this matter.”