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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 October, 2003, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Turkey shift spit blame
Referee Pierluigi Collina tries to control the melee between England and Turkey players
England and Turkey players spat at each other during the half-time tunnel row in Istanbul, according to the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).

Turkey's Hasan Sas was reported to have sparked the row by spitting at England's Ashley Cole, prompting angry reactions from team-mates Emile Heskey and Sol Campbell.

There was also an extended confrontation between David Beckham and Turkey defender Alpay after the England captain missed a penalty.

But the TFF has claimed that both sets of players were at fault for the melee.

"There were other players who were spitting and punching," TFF spokesman Metin Kazacioglu told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Both sets of players were spitting and there were English players who were trying to punch - it's clear on the video."

"I cannot mention their names because Uefa is investigating the video evidence. It is their job now.

However, the TFF also moved to quash rumours of a racist element to the bust-up.

Sometimes these things happen
England's Sol Campbell
There had been unsubstantiated accusations that the England trio of Cole, Heskey and Campbell had been subjected to racial abuse.

But the TFF insisted the bust-up was simply a reaction to a tense match which decided qualification for next year's European Championships.

"The incident in the tunnel was not something to do with racism," said Kazacioglu.

"In Turkey we don't have racism. Nobody knows racism and acts for racism.

"The incident in the tunnel between the players was because of the tension in the match, not because of racism."

And Campbell backed up the TFF's claims.

He told Radio One's Newsbeat: "I personally didn't hear any racist abuse in the tunnel.

"You do get that from time to time. Sometimes these things happen, it's not like it's a crisis."






WATCH AND LISTEN
Uefa director of communications Mike Lee
"We've requested video evidence of the tunnel incident"


Turkish FA official Metin Kazacioglu
"There are some English players who tried to punch"



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