Javier Clemente has attempted to defend himself following accusations that he aimed a racist jibe at Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o.

The Athletic Bilbao boss has been accused of racism after he reacted to Samuel Eto’o spitting on Unai Exposito by stating: “Spitting is ugly behaviour, I thought it was something that people who had just come down out of the trees did.”

The remark caused a furore in Spain, but Clemente believes that he is the victim of a campaign to slur him.

“Some people have compared what was said to what Luis Aragones said,” he claimed, referring to the current Spain coach’s racist remarks about Thierry Henry last year.

“I did not call anyone anything racist. What Luis said was very different from what I have said. He said what he said and I spoke about people that spit.

“I was not talking about people’s colour, I only referred to players that spit on the football field. It does not matter to me if they are black or white.

“Colour is not important. What I said was regrettable, but not as bad as what he did. Why does the Higher Sports Council (CSD) and some journalists want to make it seem that I was referring to black people? Their interpretation is racist.

“Why do they want to penalise me? I am against people that spit on a football pitch. According to the CSD, it is good that people spit on the field. Do not tell me that I said something racist because I did not.

“I have said nothing about black people, nor white, nor yellow. There are people, mostly journalists, that want to twist all this.

“The key to all this is that they want to take measures against me. It does not bother me, because I will always speak out against people who behave like this on the pitch.

“If this kind of thing does not appear to be very serious to some people then I really do not understand it. It seems curious.”

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