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Diarra hits back in Republic row

Diarra is led away after Republic defender Richard Dunne confronts the midfielder
Diarra is led away after Richard Dunne confronts the midfielder

France's Lassana Diarra has accused Republic of Ireland players of "making up stories" after tempers flared at the end of Saturday's World Cup play-off.

Keith Andrews claimed Diarra insulted the Irish nation in a foul-mouthed rant at his team-mates - an accusation the Real Madrid midfielder denies.

"I don't know what happened. The Irish team had just lost, they weren't happy, so of course it was 'our fault'.

"There were players who tried to see to it that I would get a card."

Blackburn midfielder Andrews said a "disrespectful comment" led to the final-whistle spat in Dublin after France won 1-0, although he refused to reveal what was said.

"The events that took place at the end of the game often happen when players are annoyed," Diarra told L'Equipe.

"I did not lose my head. It just lasted for 30 seconds, and afterwards I went calmly back to the dressing room.

"I don't know about any altercation. A player came towards me and I looked at him - that is all that happened.

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"Anyway, if there were any words exchanged I'm not aware of them."

He added: "The Irish players do a lot of talking in the newspapers.

"They are looking to make up stories, claiming we've said this and that. But I don't see why I would have been talking about the Irish nation.

"I don't think I'll be singled out for special treatment in the second leg. The Irish team will focus on the French side in general.

"Whatever happens to me happens, but there's no need to worry on my account."

France defender Patrice Evra admitted the events after the match on Saturday would ensure that Wednesday night's encounter, which already had plenty riding on the result, would take on extra spice.

"The second leg will be heated no matter what has happened," he said.

"The Irish lost the first game. There is a place at the World Cup finals at stake and we have aroused their sense of pride."



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see also
French 'disrespect' riled Andrews
15 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Republic boss rules out changes
16 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Keane vows to battle on in Paris
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Republic of Ireland 0-1 France
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Saturday football photos
14 Nov 09 |  Football
World Cup play-offs round-up
15 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Saturday football as it happened
14 Nov 09 |  Football
Can Ireland give France Les Bleus?
13 Nov 09 |  Football
Lawro on the Republic
10 Nov 09 |  Football
Pick your Rep of Ireland XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals


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