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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Beckham apologises over booking
David Beckham at Real Madrid on Wednesday
I have apologised personally to Sven-Goran Eriksson
David Beckham has issued a formal apology after admitting he deliberately picked up a yellow card against Wales.

Beckham confessed he got himself booked so he would be suspended against Azerbaijan - knowing he would miss the game anyway through injury.

Beckham said: "I was asked a question and made a frank and honest admission to counter the negative speculation.

"I now know that was wrong and apologise to the FA, the England coach, my team-mates and all England fans."

In a statement, Beckham continued: "I have also apologised personally to my manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

"The greatest honour in my career was when I was made England captain, there is no better feeling in football than playing for your country.

"I know that as captain you are in a privileged position and must always abide by Fifa's code of fair play, something which I have always done throughout my career. On this occasion I made a mistake.

"I hope that people will now focus on the match (against Azerbaijan) and cheer the team on, as I will be doing."

In Tuesday's interview with the Daily Telegraph, Beckham said he wanted to set the record straight after he was criticised in some quarters for picking up a needless booking.

But his revelation has since attracted widespread criticism, with Fifa boss Sepp Blatter saying he was "astonished and disappointed".

Blatter has met with the Football Association, and said he would be "interested" to see what action the FA took.

Responding to Beckham's subsequent apology, Blatter told BBC Five Live: "It makes a difference.

"It will give to those who judge such an action some positive circumstances but you cannot just forget what has happened."

Interview: Sepp Blatter

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13 Oct 04  |  Fun and Games
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12 Oct 04  |  Internationals

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