Barcelona midfielder Cesc
Fabregas denied on Sunday that he racially abused Sevilla's
Malian striker Frederic Kanoute in Saturday's 0-0 La Liga draw
at the Nou Camp and the pair later settled their differences by
"I want to categorically deny that I made any kind of racist
insult towards any Sevilla player," the Spanish international
and former Arsenal captain wrote on his Twitter account after
local media reported the accusation.
"I will not tolerate anyone accusing me of things that I'm
not," added the 24-year-old.
"If they are frustrated by a decision that has gone against
them on the football pitch then there are others ways to deal
"To cry racism is cowardly and an easy option to excuse your
own poor behaviour. My conscience is completely clear. I've done
Kanoute said he had been "provoked and insulted" during a
mass brawl which erupted after Barca were awarded a penalty in
second-half stoppage time. He did not mention Fabregas by name
or use the word racist.
Before the penalty kick was taken, an angry Kanoute kicked
the ball away from the spot and appeared to grab Fabregas around
the throat before being sent off. Lionel Messi's effort was then
saved by goalkeeper Javi Varas.
Kanoute wrote on his Twitter account that he regretted the
incident - which came at the end of UEFA's Football Against
Racism in Europe (FARE) week - saying it "was not a good
"Nonetheless there was provocation and insult, as you are
already aware," the former Tottenham Hotspur player said.
"But don't think about it anymore. His behaviour, like mine,
was bad. Issue closed. Let's get on with the football."
Fabregas and Kanoute later spoke by telephone and said they
had said sorry.
"We both apologised and agreed the matter was settled,"
Kanoute added on his Twitter feed: "The issue was explained
and we are both adults and aware that we were at fault
yesterday. The matter is closed."
Fabregas's Barca team-mate Daniel Alves defended the
Spaniard at a news conference following a Barca training session
"There are moments when your pulse is racing and you don't
say please when you are asking for things," the Brazilian
"But it's clear there was no racist insult, above all from
Cesc, who is a fantastic lad and would never do that."
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