Friday 19 January 2018

Steven Gerrard takes legal advice over El Hadji Diouf's allegations of racism

Former Liverpool midfielder criticised El Hadji Diouf in his autobiography, but Senegalese makes shocking claim that Gerrard 'has never liked black people'

No love lost: El Hadji Diouf and Steven Gerrard have clashed over their time together at Liverpool
No love lost: El Hadji Diouf and Steven Gerrard have clashed over their time together at Liverpool

Steven Gerrard is considering taking legal action after his former Liverpool teammate El Hadji Diouf accused him of racism, according to The Telegraph.

Diouf was responding to criticism in Gerrard’s autobiography – in which the former England captain said the Senegal international was the signing he liked the least during his Liverpool career - in an interview in Senegal when he made the shocking accusation.

There has never been any previous suggestion that Gerrard holds any racist views, or has made any racist comments. The Telegraph reports this evening that the LA Galaxy midfielder is now considering whether to sue Diouf. Gerrard vehemently denies the allegation.

In an extract from his autobiography which is being serialised in The Daily Mail, Gerrard says he had no respect for Diouf as a player after Gerrad Houllier signed the Senegalese international for £11m after the 2002 World Cup.

"We had finished as runners-up to Manchester United the season before and a combination of Diouf, Salif Diao and Bruno Cheyrou was supposed to drive us to the title. It was probably the biggest waste of £18m in Liverpool’s history," he wrote.

"We finished the season in fifth place and Diouf had sealed his place at the top of the list of Liverpool signings I liked least.

"It seemed to me that Diouf had no real interest in football and that he cared nothing about Liverpool. For example, the way he spat a huge globule of gunky phlegm at a Celtic fan in a UEFA Cup match at Parkhead in March 2003 summed up his contemptuous and spiteful demeanour."

Gerrard also went onto add that while Mario Balotelli more recently struggled and his commitment questioned, there was no comparison to Diouf.

"A few people have since asked me if I saw any comparison between Diouf and Mario Balotelli - and I’ve always said no. I’ve got respect for Balotelli; I’ve got none for Diouf.

"Balotelli can be endearing sometimes — and that’s never a trait that you would associate with Diouf. The only positive aspect of the otherwise ugly signing of Diouf is that he worked hard on the pitch. He always wanted the ball, and he never hid."

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