A lot of hot air: Australian bookmakers float giant Christ the Redeemer balloon

June 11th, 2014

Australia’s Socceroos have a tough road ahead of them in the group stage of the World Cup. In a power-house group with Holland, Chile and Spain, they’ll be lucky to make it to the second round.

But that’s not stopping Australian bookmakers Sportsbet.com.au from keeping hopes high, really high.

As in floating hot-air balloon high.


(Image: Sportsbet.com.au)

The company launched a 151-foot tall replica of Rio’s famed Christ the Redeemer statue, clothed in an Aussie-themed jersey, across the skies of Melbourne.

Unfortunately, not everyone is happy about having this particular balloon cruising the skies. 


(Image: AP Photo/sportsbet.com.au, Dave Callow)

In an interview with ABC News, Reverend Tim Costello, the chair of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce, said he was not amused.

"One of the great statues in Rio is Jesus, and Brazil is a Catholic nation that takes its faith seriously and its football fanatically. You don’t exploit those things that are sacred to people simply for your own advertising reach and I think that soccer as a world game should be sensitive to that and certainly express their disdain for these types of advertisements," said Costello.

Despite the complaints, Sportsbet.com.au has included some fun facts about the balloon on their website. The balloon took 5 months to make and could fit 574,525 soccer balls inside. And that’s pretty righteous.

(h/t Dirty Tackle)

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