Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Dream win for World Cup viral video boy

Iain and Aleks Meiklejohn Image copyright Iain Meiklejohn
Image caption Iain Meiklejohn took his son, Aleks, to Russia to follow Poland in the World Cup

A Scottish dad scooped tickets to the World Cup final after a video of his young son being consoled by rival fans went viral.

Iain Meiklejohn, from Edinburgh, took six-year-old Aleks to Russia to support his mum's native Poland.

Aleks was devastated when the team were eliminated in the group stages but nearby fans of the winning Colombia side were filmed offering support.

Their video won the hearts of Fifa who offered them a pair of dream tickets.

It is a complete change in fortune for the family who were scammed when they tried to get tickets for the World Cup final in Rio four years ago.

Mr Meiklejohn told BBC Radio Scotland: "The whole thing has just flipped 100%. It's just amazing, it's brilliant."

Image copyright Iain Meiklejohn
Image caption Aleks was devastated when Poland became the first European team to be eliminated from the 2018 World Cup

Aleks was in tears when he saw Poland lose 3-0 to Colombia at the Kazan Arena last month.

In the video posted on social media, Mr Meiklejohn is seen consoling his son while Colombian fans chant "Polska, Polska, Polska!".

The Scotland fan said the Colombians were "fantastic... easily the best group of supporters I've ever sat with".

"Aleks got a wee bit upset as you would when your team gets put out of the World Cup," Mr Meiklejohn told BBC Radio Scotland.

"All the Colombian fans started to gather round us, started chanting 'Polska, Polska', giving us hats, scarves, patting us on our backs, patting us on our heads.

"Iwona, my wife, took a quick 15 second video of this happening, uploaded it to Twitter later that night and the whole thing exploded.

"It went viral and we have had non-stop communication from all over the world for the last six or seven days. It's been unreal."

Image copyright Iain Meiklejohn
Image caption The Meiklejohn family spent a "brilliant" two weeks in Russia for the World Cup

In the days that followed the match, Mr Meiklejohn learned about Fifa's #Rivalhug campaign, which promotes friendship between rival sets of fans.

He submitted the video to the competition before making the 17-hour journey back to Scotland last Friday.

The following day he learned that he had been selected for an all expenses paid trip to Moscow to watch the World Cup final.

He said Aleks was in a supermarket with his mum when he called to tell them about their incredible win.

"Apparently he was hyper, running up and down the aisles telling everyone he was going to the World Cup final, which made it even more special," he added.

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