Monday 20 November 2017

'David Beckham of bullfighting' faces probe after confronting bull while holding baby daughter

Spanish matador Francisco Rivera Ordóñez has provoked anger after posting a photo of himself taking on a bull while holding his baby on Instagram

Francisco Rivera Ordóñez bullfighting with his baby daughter
Francisco Rivera Ordóñez bullfighting with his baby daughter
Francisco Rivera Ordóñez during a bullfight at the Malagueta Bullring in Malaga

Mark Molloy

A matador dubbed the “David Beckham of bullfighting” has been criticised after confronting a bull while holding his baby.

Francisco Rivera Ordóñez posted the photo of him with his five-month-old daughter while practising with a bull calf to his 60,000 followers on Instagram.

In the caption he wrote [translated]: “Carmen's debut. She's the fifth generation of bullfighters in our family. My granddad was a bullfighter as well as my dad.

“My dad did this with me and I've done it with my daughters Cayetana and now with Carmen.”

He later posted a photo of himself as a boy with his father, along with the caption: “History repeats itself. The best legacy alive, feeling, purity, honour.”

 A child protection agency is now investigating the photo to see if any laws have been broken.

Another bullfighter Manuel Díaz defended his actions in a Twitter post: “What’s the problem in showing our children a profession that we love and is filled with values?”

The original photo has received more than 10,000 likes, however many others have criticised the bullfighter for putting his daughter “in danger”.

One critic wrote: “The life of his daughter obviously doesn't matter to him, let alone animals' lives.”

Another added: “This has nothing to do with the art of bullfighting. This is a question of putting a child at risk.”

Alfonso Alonso, the acting minister of social security, said: “It isn’t right in any circumstances to put a child at risk.”

Equality minister María José Sánchez was also critical, saying: “A fireman wouldn’t dream of taking a child to put out a fire nor would a football player run around with a child in their arms during a match.”

Ordóñez defended his actions, saying: “There is no safer place for her to be than in my arms.”

Last year, Spain’s education ministry drew up plans to create courses in bullfighting as an optional subject in state schools.

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