A Tottenham fan, Averof Panteli, who was arrested after throwing a banana towards Arsenal striker Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, claims he isn’t racist.
The Gunners won against their bitter rivals 4-2 in a match that had a couple of heated moments.
Panteli was arrested by police after the incident and was also banned from the Tottenham stadium for life, but has claimed to Daily Mail that he is not that kind of person.
“I am not racist whatsoever. I am actually a Greek Cypriot. I am 100 per cent not a racist. I swear on my kids’ lives that I am not that kind of guy.
“I apologise if I have offended anyone from both clubs, especially Tottenham. It was a mad thing I did and I never meant to offend anyone in any way. I never meant anything by it.
“I have been charged with throwing an object. I am not charged with anything racist. The police were happy to accept it was not racist. I have made a big mistake and I am sincerely sorry for it.
“The Arsenal player was gloating in front of the away fans. He came up towards the away fans and is basically nodding his head and clapping at us. The fans at the front were getting upset and shouting and swearing.
“Without thinking, I picked up this banana skin and threw it on the edge of the pitch. I didn’t throw it at the players. It was just on the edge of the pitch.”
Aubameyang scored 2 goals in that game and was everywhere on the pitch for the Gunners
Meanwhile, the President of UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin, has condemned the act and said racism needs to be kicked out of football.
He said: “Racism is, of course, a big problem in football but it’s also a big problem in society, too, and not just racism, but sexism, too,” Ceferin told the Herald.
“We have to do more. We are doing quite a lot already and we sanction clubs and associations, but we need to educate as well. But when you see an event like that, it’s a disaster, if you ask me.”