Roberto Martinez, the Wigan Athletic manager, has claimed some of the objectionable occurrences which have cast a shadow over the Premier League in recent weeks can be attributed to "cultural disadjustment".
While marginally stopping short of defending Paraguayan Antolin Alcaraz, for spitting at Wolves centre-half Richard Stearman – an act that earned his captain a retrospective three-match ban which starts tomorrow at home to Blackburn – the Spaniard insisted the incident would not have caused such a storm overseas.
He said: "The truth is, in other countries it is not as important. Would it have been okay if he had done it in Spain or Paraguay? Unfortunately, yes, that happens.
"If you go to YouTube, there are many, many cases. It is not seen in the same manner. I don't know if historically it has any other connotations. Sometimes as a foreign boy you need to get used to the weather and the cultural aspects are very important.
"But spitting in this country is something that you cannot condone and that is something he needs to learn quickly."