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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 14:05 GMT
Djemba-Djemba says sorry to Villa
Eric Djemba-Djemba
Djemba-Djemba was fined for his unscheduled absence
Aston Villa's Cameroon midfield man Eric Djemba-Djemba has apologised to boss David O'Leary for his late return from the African Cup of Nations.

Djemba-Djemba was fined for returning home rather than rejoining Villa after Cameroon went out of the tournament.

He said: "I realise now that my conduct was not acceptable and accept that my actions showed a lack of respect to the manager, the club and its supporters.

Djemba-Djemba told the club website: "I know I have done wrong."

The 24-year-old added: "I have had a very constructive meeting with David O'Leary and his assistant Roy Aitken and expressed my regret and offered my apologies for my extended absence.

"The matter has been dealt with internally and I accept the outcome of the discussions.

"I wish to make it clear that I remain fully committed to Aston Villa and intend to concentrate on playing an active part in the remainder of the season."

Djemba-Djemba admitted: "I understand why supporters may have been disappointed and angry at my actions but I ask them, and everyone connected with the club, to accept my apology and join me in focusing on the remainder of the season for the benefit of Aston Villa."

A furious O'Leary said when the player failed to return to Villa Park: "We've not been able to get in touch to discover where he is," said O'Leary.

"I can't speculate as we've not been able to make contact. He has a fair chance of his wage packet being lighter at the end of the month."

O'Leary signed Djemba-Djemba for 1.35m from Manchester United 13 months ago but he has struggled to make an impact with Villa.


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