Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Wednesday September 23 2009
Blackburn Rovers forward El-Hadji Diouf has today claimed that Everton fans threw bananas at him at the weekend - a day after he was accused of racially abusing a ball boy.
Diouf was questioned by police after the 3-0 defeat at the weekend but Diouf has since protested his innocence and has now revealed his side of the story. Diouf claims that he was on the the end of the wrongdoing and that people are just going off his reputation when deciding guilt on the matter.
Hadji told Radio Monte Carlo: 'The ball went out and I wanted to take the throw in quickly. The ball-boy threw the ball at me like a bone to a dog. The assistant referee told me he saw it but we had to continue and we would look at it at half-time.
'What's more people threw bananas at me. The fourth official said he would make a report to the police. I didn't say anything so that people couldn't say, 'it's El-Hadji Diouf again'. I've had problems before but never like on Sunday.'
Diouf, who has never been far from controversy, has given a totally different version of events this time round and even gave further explination to try and clear his name.
Diouf continued - 'I didn't even speak to him. I just told the assistant ref that the ball-boy should respect the players. And after that I left. But people in the stands said I aimed racist words to the kid.
'The police interrogated me for three minutes. I don't want the matter to rest there. For a kid to say things like that is unacceptable. I've had other problems, of spitting or fighting on the pitch but not of racism.
'I don't have just black friends. I have a very good understanding with Gael Givet here at Blackburn for example. All this is not El Hadji Diouf. I did nothing.
'People have a habit of sticking labels on me like three years ago when I was at Bolton. They had said I had spat on a small child during a game against Middlesbrough. But it was never proved and I was cleared.
'I understand that they don't love me at Everton. But to say that I aimed racist words to a child means anything goes. The referee pointed it out to the police after the game. People do anything to earn money on the back of the players.'
Date:Wednesday September 23 2009
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