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 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 02:04 GMT
Jeffers: I did not dive
John Arne Riise (left) and Francis Jeffers seconds before the controversial penalty was awarded
Jeffers insists he did not dive in the box
Arsenal's Francis Jeffers insists he did not dive to win a penalty in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Liverpool.

The former Everton striker was labelled a "conman" by Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier after he fell in the area following what seemed minimal contact.

A penalty was awarded by referee Jeff Winter, which Thierry Henry converted for a point.

But, despite Houllier's protestations, Jeffers said he had done nothing wrong.

"I am extremely disappointed by comments attributed to Mr Houllier," the forward said on his club's official website.

Jeff Winter was conned by the dive of Jeffers

Gerard Houllier

"I'm an honest player and I certainly didn't dive for the penalty. It was a great pass from Dennis (Bergkamp), I saw two defenders close me down, so I let the ball run past me.

"As I turned and started to run, (John Arne) Riise grabbed me and also clipped my heel. It's as simple as that, it was a penalty.

"The referee was quick to blow to award the penalty and the linesman was even quicker to put his flag up. I don't have to defend myself."

Liverpool had earlier taken the lead with a well-taken penalty by Danny Murphy, which was later cancelled out by Henry's effort.

And Houllier was livid with the result, which put Arsenal five points clear at the top of the Premiership.

"(Referee) Mr (Jeff) Winter was conned by the dive of Jeffers," said the Frenchman. "I think he has dived and you can see it. He did not pull his shirt.

"On that situation he got it wrong - it was a deliberate dive from a player.

"The referee said he pulled his shirt but, if that was the case, you would get 50 penalties in a game.

"He was near the action and shouldn't have given than penalty. I hope when the referee sees the replay he will at least rescind the yellow card for John Arne Riise.

"The person who should have the yellow card is Jeffers."

Winter, though, revealed Riise's would not be rubbed out.

He told the Sun newspaper: "Riise clearly tugged Jeffers back as he went past him. That is why he was cautioned for unsporting behaviour."


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