El-Hadji Diouf in ‘race row’ with Blackburn ballboy
El-Hadji Diouf was at the centre of a race controversy last night after a teenage ballboy accused the Blackburn Rovers winger of making a derogatory remark towards him during yesterday’s match against Everton at Goodison Park.
The Senegal player was questioned by Merseyside Police after the game and is likely to be interviewed by them again this week.
“Merseyside Police is investigating an allegation of a 28-year-old man using racist language at the Everton match today at Goodison Park,” a spokesman told The Times. “Inquiries are under way.”
The alleged incident occurred during the early stages of the match when Diouf went to take a throw-in, only for the ballboy to roll the ball away from him.
Words appeared to be exchanged between the pair, prompting an outcry from the Everton fans in the nearby Gwladys Street Stand. It was claimed that Diouf told the youngster to “F*** off, white boy”.
It is not the first time that Diouf has been at the centre of a controversial incident during a match.
In March 2003, while playing for Liverpool, he was accused of spitting at a Celtic fan during a game at Celtic Park in the Uefa Cup. He was charged by police and fined £5,000 after pleading guilty to the offence during a hearing at the Sheriff’s Court in Glasgow.
Diouf was also given a two-match ban by Uefa and fined £5,000 by Liverpool, although he did issue a public apology and invited the supporter to attend the second leg of the tie at Anfield as his personal guest.
In November 2004, while playing for Bolton Wanderers, he spat at Arjan de Zeeuw, the Portsmouth defender, and was banned for three matches by the FA after pleading guilty to a charge of improper conduct.