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Tuesday, 17 December, 2002, 11:06 GMT
Mackie says sorry
Carl Asaba in action for Sheffield United
Sheffield United say Asaba was racially abused
Reading defender Jon Mackie has publicly apologised for racially abusing former Royals striker Carl Asaba following Saturday's game with Sheffield United.

Mackie has asked Reading to fine him two weeks' wages, with the money to be donated to the Kick Racism Out of Football campaign.

On Monday, United had reported Mackie to the Football Association (FA) and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) over the incident.

"I would like to publicly apologise for the comment I made to Carl Asaba, which I now appreciate may have caused racial offence," said Mackie at a Reading news conference.

"I made my comment while I was still pumped up after the game during which I had a tussle with Carl.

"I deeply regret making the comment and I know I have let myself, my teammates and the club down.

"I'm not a racist and I support the Kick Racism Out of Football Campaign and I have decided to give two weeks wages to this campaign as a self- imposed fine."

Reading manager Alan Pardew, added: "We realise something had happened and I have spoken to Carl, who is a personal friend of mine.

"I feel it's unfortunate that Sheffield United made a statement before we had a chance to deal with it and this is not a response to what they have said."

Reading winger John Salako attended the conference with Mackie and said: "Racism is a deep hatred of a creed of a colour. Jon is not a racist. Political correctness is getting ridiculous."

Blades manager Neil Warnock told BBC Radio Sheffield on Monday that the abuse dealt out to Asaba was not acceptable.

"Mackie waited in the tunnel after the game and there was a bit of a fracas but nothing too bad," said Warnock.

"Then when the players went to warm down, there were some racial remarks directed at Carl which we are not accepting.

"Things like that shouldn't be said and we make no bones about writing to the FA and the PFA."

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 ON THIS STORY
Reading defender Jon Mackie
"I deeply regret the comments"
Reading boss Alan Pardew
"John is full of remorse"

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