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Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 20:48 GMT
Ferguson plays down Beckham row
David Beckham sustained a cut eye after being hit by a football boot kicked by Sir Alex Ferguson
The cut above Beckham's eye is clearly visible


Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to apologise for the dressing room bust-up in which he injured David Beckham.

The Old Trafford boss denied that the England captain needed stitches and insisted the cut above his left eye was "a graze".

Beckham was hurt after a furious Ferguson kicked a boot in the dressing room which hit the midfielder in the face.

The incident happened after Ferguson's side lost 2-0 to arch rivals Arsenal in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn't happen again

Sir Alex Ferguson

"Contrary to reports, David Beckham did not have two stitches - it was a graze which was dealt with by the doctor," Ferguson revealed.

"It was a freakish incident. If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn't happen again. If I could I would have carried on playing!"

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson has not made a public apology
"There is no problem and we move on. That is all there is to say."

Neither Ferguson nor Manchester United would reveal full details of the incident.

"I have to stress whatever happens in the dressing room remains sacrosanct," he added.

"There is no way I would betray the trust of the players however much benefit there may be.

"It never works that way, loyalty is 100% - never any less than that."

Beckham's management company, SFX, confirmed United's club doctor later visited Beckham at home.

An SFX statement said: "David did not want stitches at first, but two hours after the game, blood was still dripping from the wound and the club doctor visited David's house and fixed two steri-strips to stop the bleeding."

Fit to play

The England captain had been substituted during the game at Old Trafford after injuring his right leg.

He was sitting in the dressing room after the game when Ferguson vented his frustration by kicking the boot.

But Ferguson also confirmed in the news conference ahead of Manchester United's Champions League tie against Juventus that Beckham would be fit to play on Wednesday if selected.

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The BBC's Adam Parsons
"He was in combative mood"
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