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Football | Spain

Mubarak Wakaso © Gallo Images

Wakaso blames cards on 'racist refs'

Espanyol's Ghana midfielder Mubarak Wakaso recognises he was wrong to accuse referees of booking him because of his colour, coach Mauricio Pochettino said on Saturday.

"You can't accuse the whole refereeing body of this (racism), and he knows that," the Argentine told a news conference. "He spoke with his heart and not his head."

Wakaso, who has picked up eight yellow cards and one red in 10 La Liga matches this season, told a news conference on Friday: "Sometimes... they just give the card, excuse me to say this, because of the colour of the person."

Pochettino said he and the club captains had spoken with the 22-year-old player.

"He was trying to come to terms with what has been going on," Pochettino added.

"He is a combative player, but he is honest and when you explain things he understands. He lives life to the limit on and off the pitch."

Bottom side Espanyol have the worst disciplinary record in La Liga and have complained bitterly about what they see as unfair refereeing against the club.

Striker Sergio Garcia is suspended for the next four matches and defender Hector Moreno for two after both were sent off in the 2-1 defeat at Valencia last weekend. An appeal against the punishments was rejected by the Spanish football federation.

Espanyol host mid-table Getafe in La Liga on Sunday.


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