Tue, Oct 24, 2006 - Page 20 News List

`Comical' Defoe only nibbled at Mascherano: Jol

AP , LONDON

Tottenham manager Martin Jol downplayed suggestions that striker Jermain Defoe bit Javier Mascherano's arm after being fouled by the West Ham player Sunday in the English Premier League.

Defoe appeared to gesture toward Mascherano after being fouled repeatedly in Tottenham's 1-0 victory, but Jol said it was lighthearted.

"He was nibbling his arm. There will be no mark," Jol said. "Ask Mascherano if he has got a mark."

"It is part of the game," Jol added. "They [West Ham players] kicked him three times from behind in 10 minutes and he wanted to show his frustration in a nice, comical way."

West Ham manager Alan Pardew, whose team has now lost for seven games in a row, said he wasn't sure whether there was any contact by Defoe's teeth.

"Mascherano brought him down from behind and that was definitely a booking," Pardew said. "I didn't quite see the reaction from Jermain, but it looked like he gestured towards Mascherano but whether there was any contact I don't know."

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