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Samuel Eto'o apologises for headbutting opponent

Inter Milan's Samuel Eto'o
Cesar has a heated discussion with the referee as Eto'o looks on

Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto'o has issued a public apology for headbutting an opponent on Sunday.

Eto'o reacted to a foul by Chievo's Bostjan Cesar by headbutting him in the chest, which resulted in the Cameroon captain receiving a three-game ban.

"I want to offer my most sincere apologies to everyone who was shocked by my unpleasant gesture," said Eto'o.

"My apologies are to the protagonists of the game, the referee, the Inter fans and everyone who loves football."

He added: "I also want to apologise to my coach [Rafael Benitez] and my team-mates who will be without me for three games."

The Italian league used video evidence to punish Eto'o after the referee missed the incident during the match, which Inter lost 2-1.

A statement from Serie A said that Eto'o's headbutt was "premeditated" and constituted "violent conduct".

The Cameroon international, who was also fined 30,000 euros (£25,600), is available for Wednesday's European Champions League home game against Dutch side FC Twente.

But his league ban is a huge blow for Inter coach Rafael Benitez who has had to cope with injuries to key players including Diego Milito.

The reigning Italian champions have also suffered a loss of form and currently lie in sixth place in Serie A, nine points behind their cross-city rivals, AC Milan.

And former Liverpool manager Benitez is also facing speculation in the Italian media that he could be sacked if Inter, who are the European champions, lose against Twente.

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see also
Cagliari fined over Eto'o chants
19 Oct 10 |  African
Eto'o praises Inter boss Benitez
30 Sep 10 |  African

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