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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May, 2005, 17:37 GMT 18:37 UK
Eto'o apologises for outburst
If it hadn't been for Real Madrid I would never have got this far, so I beg forgiveness and hope that people will understand
Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o Fils

Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o has apologised for insulting former club Real Madrid after his team won the Spanish championship.

"I would like to ask forgiveness for what I said," the Barcelona forward told a news conference on Monday.

"One thing is what you think and another is what you say.

"I would like to ask the fans, the club and anyone else who might have felt offended to accept a thousand apologies from me.

"I never wanted to show any lack of respect to anyone. "What happened was that in a moment of joy I started to sing and that was all.

If it hadn't been for Real Madrid I would never have got this far, so I beg forgiveness and hope that people will understand me."

The 24-year-old chanted "Madrid, cabron, saluda al campeon" (Spanish for 'Madrid, bastards, hail the champions') during a speech at his team's Nou Camp ground on Sunday.

Many of the 100,000 fans at the Nou Camp, who celebrated the club's first league title in six years, also joined in the chorus.

Eto'o's behaviour during the title festivities met widespread criticism.

"This character is a fantastic player, but he leaves a lot to be desired as a person," Fermin Calero, president of the federation of Real Madrid fan clubs, was quoted as saying on the club's website.

"He has forgotten that it was Real Madrid that first allowed him to escape hunger.

"With these unfortunate declarations the only thing he has done is to encourage violence."

Eto'o was spotted by a Real Madrid scout when he was 15 and was taken from his homeland to sign for Real 1996.

Joan Laporta, Barcelona's president, said the incident had been unfortunate.

"I don't think they (the remarks) were ill-intentioned and they should be understood in the context that they took place, at a celebration party and in an atmosphere of unrestrained euphoria, but they are difficult to justify."




SEE ALSO
Eto'o blasts racists
06 May 05 |  African
Eto'o in court
29 Mar 05 |  African


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