Football: Savage says sorry

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The Independent Online
ROBBIE SAVAGE believed his international career was over after being told to leave the team's hotel on Saturday morning prior to Wales's European Championship qualifier with Italy, following a row over a television interview.

The Leicester City midfielder, who was eventually allowed to participate as a substitute, burst into tears in the arms of his fiancee after being asked to leave the hotel. Savage, who had been set to start the match, said: "I was gutted, I honestly felt it was the end and I was out of the squad."

The Welsh coach, Bobby Gould, said yesterday that Savage still has a future with Wales. He had been angry at a "disrespectful" interview in which the player had thrown away a shirt bearing the name of the Italian defender, Paolo Maldini, and had made derogatory remarks about the Wales defenders.

The player insisted the shirt gesture was light-hearted and not meant to be offensive. "I'd like to apologise if I have caused offence to any of my fellow players or Paolo Maldini," he said yesterday.