Espanyol forward Sergio Garcia has strenuously denied media reports claiming he racially abused Samuel Umtiti during Sunday’s Barcelona derby.
Garcia and Umtiti clashed several times during the match, with the Spaniard producing a nasty tackle on his counterpart early on and also appearing to dive near him in the penalty area later in the game.
One of their altercations occurred just before full-time in the 1-1 draw at the RCDE Stadium and discussions continued in the tunnel.
It was reported that the two clashed and had to be separated by Gerard Pique, with Garcia alleged to have aimed a racial slur at the Frenchman, before later apologising.
But Garcia has spoken out on the matter, insisting he was not racist and that he has spoken with Umtiti to clear things up.
Taking to his official Instagram before making it a private account, Garcia wrote: “First of all, to clarify, I already spoke with Samuel yesterday [Sunday].
“In no way was my behaviour racist. You all know my wife is an ethnic gypsy and I grew up in a neighbourhood with all the races in the world.
“My brother-in-law [former Espanyol forward and current Cologne player Jhon Cordoba], with whom I have a strong friendship, is also African-American.
“In the tension of the match, many things are said which should remain on the pitch.”
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