Goran Popov makes apology for spitting

West Brom defender spat during his side's defeat to Tottenham

West Brom defender Goran Popov has made an official apology after he was sent off in Sunday's Barclays Premier League defeat against Tottenham for spitting.

The Macedonia international was sent off three minutes into the second half in the match at The Hawthorns for spitting towards Kyle Walker.

Popov apologised to fans via Twitter after the game, but has today made a full apology.

The 28-year-old said in a statement released by the club: "I just want to say a big sorry to everyone, firstly to the gaffer because he was so angry after the game and, if I was in his place, I would be exactly the same, and to all the players."

"We played a good first half then at the start of the second half their player kicked the ball to the corner and I said something to him.

"We exchanged a couple of words but it wasn't something bad, just something that happens 10 to 15 times in a game.

"After that, when he started to run, he was maybe two or three yards away from me. I didn't have the intention to spit on him - but it looked like that.

"The referee was close to me and saw that. This is not good for me because over the last two or three nights I have not slept too good.

"Something like this has never happened in my life."

Popov also wants to put the record straight with Baggies fans, after becoming a popular figure at West Brom following his loan from Dynamo Kyiv last August.

His sending off was a pivotal moment in the 1-0 defeat, with Spurs springing to life in the second half after a drab first period.

"I've had a couple of good games, was man of the match and player of the month in December," Popov said.

"But I'm not happy with what I did on Sunday. When the referee sent me off it totally changed the game.

"The players were angry after the game, and some of them - the ones who have been a long time at this club - said to me they are disappointed in me.

"I want to say sorry to all my friends, team-mates, to all the physical staff and the coaching staff. Everyone can make mistakes, life is like this. Football is up and down.

"Tomorrow I want to have a meeting and I want to say sorry to everyone who works at this club.

"I don't want all the fans, players, trainers and staff to change their mind about me. I'm not that kind of player."

Popov also revealed he is trying to get in touch with England international Walker in a bid to say sorry in person following the incident.

Popov said: "I'm trying to get a phone number for Kyle Walker but he is now with his national team.

"When I get his number I will call him and just say 'I'm not a player like this, I didn't want to do this to him and a big sorry'.

"I wish good luck to Walker and England against Brazil."

PA

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