- Category: Soccer
- Published Thursday, March 5, 2015
- Toronto Sun
Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse has apologised for his part in a spitting row involving Manchester United defender Jonny Evans during a Premier League match on Wednesday.
Shortly after Northern Ireland's Evans issued a statement on Thursday saying he had not spat at Cisse following a first-half tangle in United's 1-0 victory, Cisse also responded.
"I have apologies to make to a lot of people today," Cisse, who appeared to spit towards Evans in response to the United player apparently spitting in his direction, said in a statement on the club's website (nufc.co.uk).
"Firstly to my team mates and to our supporters, secondly to Jonny Evans, and thirdly to every football fan who saw the incident between myself and Jonny.
"I reacted to something I found very unpleasant. Sometimes it is hard not to react, particularly in the heat of the moment. I have always tried hard to be a positive role model, especially for our young fans, and yesterday I let you down."
Cisse's statement was in marked contrast to the one put out by Evans in which he denies any wrongdoing.
Television replays suggested both players could find themselves in trouble with the Football Association once referee Anthony Taylor has submitted a report.
"I am shocked to have seen the media coverage from last night's match. I would like to make it clear that I did not spit at Papiss Cisse," Evans said.
"I was totally unaware of any spitting incident and had assumed that the issue at the time was with the challenge and his attempted retaliation to the tackle from the floor.
"It is not in my character or in my nature to spit at anybody nor is it something I have ever done or would ever do. It is certainly not something that I did last night."
Both managers, United's Louis van Gaal and Newcastle's John Carver, said they had not seen the incident which did not result in either player being cautioned at the time.
Senegal's Cisse said he expected the incident to cause himself and the club "problems".
"I hope children out there playing football for their clubs and schools this weekend will know better than to retaliate when they are angry," he said.
"Perhaps when they see the problem it now causes me and my team they will be able to learn from my mistake."