Mon, Jan 10, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Walcott apologizes for dive in the box

AFP, LONDON

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott apologized for diving to try to win a penalty during his side’s 1-1 draw against Leeds United in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.

With Arsene Wenger’s team trailing 1-0 in the closing minutes at the Emirates, England international Walcott tumbled to the turf after a challenge from Alex Bruce in the penalty area.

Referee Phil Dowd initially awarded a penalty, but after consulting with his assistant, he changed his mind. Walcott, who then won the stoppage-time penalty that Cesc Fabregas scored for Arsenal’s equalizer, later issued a statement apologizing for his actions.

“I want to apologize to the managers because I actually dived. I was trying to win the penalty,” Walcott said. “I am not the sort of player to do it, but I own up to it and apologize. It is something I don’t want to see in my game. 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.”

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