Arsenal and England midfielder Theo Walcott issued a statement on the clubs official website apologising for trying to win a penalty by diving in the FA Cup clash with Leeds.
Phil Dowd turned down his appeals for a penalty although Walcott did win a legitimate penalty shortly afterwards when he was pulled back by Leeds defender Ben Parker.
The statement read:
‘I want to apologise to the managers because I actually dived. I was trying to win the penalty. I said to one of their players ‘would you have done it?’ and he said he probably would have.
‘I am not the sort of player to do it, but I own up to it and apologise. It is something I don’t want to see in my game.
‘I have heard some players say ‘if there is a slight touch, go down’ and it can work both ways.
‘It was one of those things. I am not happy with myself for doing that, but I am happy that we got the draw.
‘I had a little joke with the referee afterwards saying ‘that was my first dive, can you tell?’ I don’t have to own up to it and I can’t speak for other players, but I have just expressed how I feel. I hope people respect that.’
Cesc Fabregas converted the penalty in the final minute of normal time to earn the Gunners a replay at Elland Road after Robert Snodgrass had given Leeds the lead, also from the penalty spot.
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