Ex-Chelsea Star Once Accused Of Mocking Stranded Americans After Terror Attacks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Frank Lampard is joining New York City FC.

The 36-year-old midfielder and former England star is the MLS expansion club’s second high-profile international signing leading to its first season in 2015.

The club affiliated with the Premier League’s Manchester City and the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball previously signed Spain star David Villa.

NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna on Thursday called the signing a “big day for us” and described Lampard as “one of the greatest players in Premier League history.”

The move doesn’t come without controversy. Several media outlets in New York and England have published rehashings of an infamous incident at a hotel near London’s Heathrow Airport following the 9/11 terror attacks.

Lampard was one of four Chelsea players fined for “stripping, swearing and vomiting at the hotel … which was full with Americans stranded by flight cancellations,” according to a 2001 BBC report. The players were accused of mocking the grieving U.S. tourists just 24 hours after the attacks.

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