Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has firmly denied accusations he racially abused Frederic Kanoute during Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sevilla.
After Barcelona were awarded an injury-time penalty at the Camp Nou, Kanoute kicked the ball away from the spot. The striker was then sent off when he lashed out at Fabregas, and a fracas involving a number of players from both teams ensued.
It was subsequently reported that Mali international Kanoute had accused Fabregas of calling him a terrorist, but the Spaniard took to Twitter to deny making any such comments, before he announced the pair had apologised to each other and declared the matter closed.
“I talked by phone with Kanoute and we’ve clarified what happened yesterday. We both apologized and closed the matter.”
Prior to that both players had their say on the spat, Fabregas posting:
“I can proudly say that after many years in football, I always maintained the best relationships with my team-mates who came from different backgrounds, races, religions and nationalities. No one has ever accused me of being racist or bigoted in all my years of playing in the game. There is a simple explanation for that. I have never behaved in that manner. I share a dressing room with a Malian player [Seydou Keita], I have an Arab tattoo and my partner is Lebanese. There is no better indication that it makes no sense. I will not tolerate anyone accusing me of things that I’m not. If they r frustrated by a decision that has gone against them on the football pitch then there r others ways to deal with it. “To cry racism is cowardly and an easy option to excuse your own poor behaviour. My conscience is completely clear. I’ve done nothing wrong.”
Kanoute had written on his own Twitter account:
“Sorry for what happened yesterday. It was not a good example. Nonetheless there was provocation and insult, as you are already aware. But don’t think about it anymore. His behaviour, like mine, was bad. Issue closed. Let’s get on with the football.”