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Soccer: Peru's US Ambassador Apologizes for Racist Remarks

  • Reuters

Peru, South America

Peru, South America

Harold Forsyth, Peru's ambassador to the United States, has apologized for racial abuse directed at Panama striker Luis Tejada after an incident at the weekend involving his son, Alianza Lima goalkeeper George Forsyth.

Tejada and George Forsyth were sent off in the 10th minute after clashing during Alianza's 2-2 draw at Cesar Vallejo in a Peruvian first division match on Saturday.

“That Tejada is an animal. All week he talked against Forsyth, who ignored him and said nothing. No-one knows the reason for his hatred. He's sick,” Harold Forsyth said.

“George Forsyth is an exemplary Peruvian. Peru opened its doors to Tejada and he behaves like a horse,” he said on his Twitter account (zHaroldForsyth).

Forsyth then wrote a letter to the daily El Comercio published on Monday, saying: “I apologize to the footballer Tejada for yesterday's inappropriate phrases by the undersigned through the social network.”

He said his family had been affected by what happened during the match but the anger he felt in the heat of the moment did not justify the insults and he apologized to Tejeda, his club and their fans.

Tejada, in his second spell in Peru after playing for Toluca and Veracruz in Mexico, said: “For me it was very painful and sad that a person of (Forsyth's) standing and position should express himself in that way against another.

“The terms used against me are pure racism and I think the authorities should do something about it,” he said on his personal website (wwwe.luistejada.pe).

“I'm a human being like everyone, I ask for respect and have a family who felt deeply affected by those words. I am grateful to Peru and its people for everything and my opinion of Peruvians won't change because of some isolated comments.”

Tejada said he did not deserve to be sent off, that George Forsyth had attacked him but he had not retaliated and that referee Luis Seminario had shown him the red card to avoid complications.

“He should only have sent Forsyth off. The referee spoilt the match since I believe that with me on the pitch the story would have been different.”

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