Cologne forward Lukas Podolski has defended his actions after being involved in a serious car accident on Monday.
The Germany international was involved in an crash on his way to training, but did not sustain any injuries.
However, local police told RTL on Tuesday that they would be opening a criminal investigation into the incident over alleged negligence on Podolski’s part.
The father of the family of three travelling in the other vehicle involved in the crash publicly accused the 26-year-old of displaying little concern for him or his daughter, both of whom were taken to hospital immediately after the collision.
Podolski, though, insists that he made every effort to check on the welfare of Eduard Paller and his one-year-old daughter, Fabienne, who suffered a suspected fracture in the bone above her nose.
“I immediately tried to contact the family by telephone in the afternoon,” he told the Koln-Star. “Unfortunately, I could not reach anyone.”
“In the evening, I was able to speak with the mother. I asked about the health of the family and apologised for the collision.”
“I told the mother that I will immediately look for a quick and smooth claims settlement.”
Podolski admitted he had been stung by Paller’s accusation of a lack of compassion and the negative media coverage which has followed.
“Now I have the impression that the public has more interest in the family than the actual accident,” he said.
Podolski also revealed that he experienced some mild pain in his ribs following the crash but he is expected to be available for this weekend’s Bundesliga clash with Stuttgart.