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Coventry City's Gary McSheffrey and Oldham Athletic's Lee Croft battle for the ball during the npower Football League One match at Boundary Park, Oldham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 29, 2012. See PA story SOCCER Oldham. Photo credit should read: PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Former Norwich City winger Lee Croft has denied allegations that he racially abused a ball boy while playing for Oldham Athletic at Sheffield United on Saturday.
The League One club has been informed that South Yorkshire Police are investigating the allegation. But 27 year old Croft insisted: “I’ve run over to get the ball, he’s kicked it away and in my frustration I’ve said ‘what are you doing?’ and had a go. I’ve not said anything to offend the lad, I wouldn’t do that.”
The Football Association said it was aware of the allegations and was looking into the matter.
A statement for the League One club said: “The player has categorically denied the allegation. The club and his team-mates are fully supportive of him. The club will not be making further statements in relation to this matter.”
Oldham boss Paul Dickov said that Blades fans were “trying to get Croft into trouble” with the accusations.
“I’ve spoken to Lee about it and he categorically denies it,” said Dickov.
“If something has happened, we will deal with it because we won’t put up with it. But Lee Croft has not got that in his body.
“I’ve been told a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon very quickly. The kid himself has said he doesn’t know what was actually said.
“I’m never going to condone anything like that but, knowing Lee as I do, I trust him completely.” Croft added that he apologised to the ball boy in question but his apology was not accepted.
“He didn’t want to know and pushed my hand away,” said Croft.
“As far as I’m concerned the matter is finished. Can I complain about them (the United fans) abusing me all game? I’ve not done anything wrong.”
Norwich City officials confirmed on Monday night the release of ten players from the club – headlined by the departure of Canadian international Simeon Jackson.