Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has denied racism claims reportedly made by former team-mate El-Hadji Diouf.
In an interview with a Senegalese radio station, Diouf reportedly alleged that the long-time Anfield talisman "never liked blacks" and made life difficult for Italy international Mario Balotelli during his ill-fated spell on Merseyside last season.
Diouf also blamed the 35-year-old, now plying his trade with the Los Angeles Galaxy, of costing the Reds the Barclays Premier League title two seasons ago and England their continued presence at the World Cup finals in Brazil.
Lawyers for Gerrard have strongly refuted the claims on their client's behalf.
Diouf's claims came in a interview with Radios Futurs Medias, reported by its parent company IGFM on its website.
The 34-year-old former Senegal forward reportedly said: "Gerrard is just jealous. What I've achieved in football, he hasn't done it. When I came to Liverpool, I came with the status of being the boss, and he was in that position.
"I'm respected in the world of football. The greatest football experts designated me among the seven best players at a World Cup, among the best 100 players of the century – there are many great players who haven't been in that.
"Everywhere I go, away from my country, I am worshipped, and for him, everywhere he goes outside of Liverpool, he will be insulted. It's he who eliminated England from the last World Cup. If Liverpool didn't win the Premier League, it's his fault.
"We've all seen how he made life difficult for Mario Balotelli at Liverpool. I warned him.
"It's well known, Gerrard has never liked blacks. In all the time I spent there, he never dared to look me in the eyes."
Another former Liverpool forward, Ryan Babel, rejected the claims reportedly made by Diouf.
Babel said on Twitter, after being alerted to the comments: "i did not got that feeling from Steve G so i think he got it wrong."
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Ronaldo blasts ‘lies’ over Man Utd future
- Where to find Sheffield United vs. Sunderland on US TV
- Where to find Boca Juniors vs. Rosario Central on US TV
- Where to find Dynamo Kyiv vs. Benfica on US TV
- Muscat shrugs off Iniesta threat as Asian Champions League returns
- USMNT World Cup kits real or fake? Combing through the clues
- Brighton sign Ecuador’s Estupinan from Villarreal
- PSV rescue Rangers draw as Obispo spares Benitez’s blushes in Champions League play-offs
- Ex-Man Utd star Giggs admits to lifelong infidelity in court testimony
- Our 6 way-too-early reactions to 2022/23 Premier League season