Football: Collymore stands by claims

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The Independent Online
STAN COLLYMORE stood by his claims yesterday that he had been racially abused by Liverpool's Steve Harkness - but must now decide whether to formally complain to the Football Association or to let the matter rest.

Villa's pounds 7m record signing made the allegations after the Premiership game at Villa Park last Saturday, although his version of events was vehemently denied by Harkness.

"I hear what Steve Harkness has to say and I still maintain my own position and stand by what I said," Collymore said after after a meeting with his agent and the Villa manager, John Gregory. Villa will also continue to back Collymore and their statement yesterday stressed that the club "wish to reiterate their stance in fully supporting him in this matter".

"We have decided to make a statement which says everything and I don't want to discuss it any more because this is a very serious predicament at the moment," Gregory said. "It's a very sensitive issue."