Frank Lampard apologises over 9/11 behaviour
New York City’s newest signing Frank Lampard has apologised over his crass behaviour on the night of the 9/11 tragedy and promised to pay his respects at the memorial site.
The 36 year-old was yesterday unveiled in front of the press and Lampard decided to use the opportunity to apologise for any offence caused by his actions in 2001.
Lampard was one of four Chelsea players who abused American tourists stranded at Heathrow in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, where they “drunkenly stripped, swore and vomited” in front of the upset group.
The New York Daily News retold the story earlier this week under the headline: “British soccer star poised to join NY team once mocked Americans after 9/11 attacks,” and there was an immediate backlash to the England international.
One fan, Midas Mulligan, wrote: “He better be down there sweeping the grounds at 1WTC EVERY DAMN DAY, after he publicly apologises to every American for being a s***bag of highest order. Maybe then, and only then, will I consider supporting him.”
Lampard explained he had not meant to cause any offence and how it was totally out of character.
“I categorically did not set out to insult anyone or behave badly in front of the Americans,” he explained.
“I’m very sensitive to the issue and the tragedy. I have some regrets. I was naive and a young boy at the time.
"I was out on a day I shouldn’t have been – I certainly wouldn’t do it today. I’ve tried in the last 13 years at Chelsea to be a good man, not just a good footballer but a good man off the pitch.”
Lampard will back up his words with a visit to the 9/11 memorial in New York to pay his respects while he is in the city concluding his two-year deal.
He explained: “It’s very important to pay respect. It’s a huge memorial and I will certainly go there to pay my respects.”
On the subject of his international future, the 106-cap player was keeping his cards close to his chest.
"I've had a bit of time after the World Cup, which was obviously a huge disappointment," Lampard said at his unveiling in Brooklyn.
"I now need to think about England and think about what I want to do with that. I haven't got a complete answer, but now I know where I'll be playing my football next year I can make that decision."