Aragones calls Reyes 'a gypsy'

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The Independent Football

Luis Aragones, the Spain coach, has dug himself deeper into a hole over his racist remark about Thierry Henry by referring to Jose Antonio Reyes as "a gypsy".

Aragones faces disciplinary action from the Spanish football federation, who have launched an investigation into the coach telling Reyes that he was better than "that black shit" Henry.

Now, in an interview with the Madrid newspaper El Mundo, Aragones tried to defend himself but succeeded only in making things worse. He said: "Reyes is ethnically a gypsy, I have got a lot of gypsy and black friends, I consider myself a citizen of the world, I don't care about their skin colour.

"All I did was to motivate the gypsy by telling him he was better than the black. I feel I have been the victim of a lynching. All I did was try to motivate Reyes comparing him with Henry and making him see that he was better. I didn't use the term 'black' with any racist meaning.

"I'm not going to forget what's happened. A section of the press in this country [Spain] has lynched me and I will not forget that my family have had a very bad time as a consequence of this."

Arsenal are understood to be unhappy at Aragones' latest remark but are unlikely to take any formal action.