Diakité: I am not depressed

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The Independent Football

The Queen's Park Rangers midfielder Samba Diakité took to the airwaves yesterday to deny rumours that he was taking time away from football because of depression and explained that he was simply returning to Paris to see family.

Some news outlets reported that the former Nancy player was struggling with the condition and Sky Sports News even interviewed the ex-Norwich City man Darren Eadie about mental illness in football.

However, the Mali international, 23, then appeared on French radio and said: "Frankly, I don't understand the interests of people in starting rumours like this. I am going very well. I don't have any problem, I was just a bit tired in the last few days. My club had authorised me to spend three days in Paris. But I am not depressed.

"Fortunately, I am a strong person but this could have had serious consequences on someone weaker. Therefore I wanted to reassure those close to me and the supporters of QPR that all is well."

Diakité's comments seem at odds with those of QPR's manager, Mark Hughes, who on 30 August said: "Samba is having difficulties with some personal issues. We hope he can overcome this very quickly and get back to being the outstanding player that he undoubtedly is."