Wigan midfielder Mohamed Diame has expressed disbelief at the storm that has blown up around comments he made about the town in the French media.
The 23-year-old, who joined the Latics from Rayo Vallecano in August 2009, was quoted on French website So Foot calling Wigan cold and boring.
He stood up for the town's women when asked whether it was true the English are ugly but complained that, in contrast to his previous home city of Madrid, the women are only beautiful at night.
Diame, though, insists his comments have been misinterpreted and expressed total surprise about the fuss they have caused.
He told www.wiganlatics.co.uk: "I cannot believe what's happened. I don't really think there's anything to apologise for because I never said the things I'm meant to have done, and the way it's been reported is just a joke.
"The only people I want to apologise to are the chairman and the club for having to waste their time dealing with something that is just so completely silly.
"I had a conversation with the journalist in which we talked informally about football issues and how settled I was in England and how Wigan was different from Madrid, where I used to play for Rayo Vallecano.
"Of course they're different, one's a capital city in a hot climate, the other's a small town where we had temperatures of -10C a few weeks ago. What am I meant to say?
"The question they asked me was whether people in England were ugly, which was a bad question so I just said the girls cover themselves up more in England because it's colder. It was just banter.
"I hope the Wigan fans will take this in the spirit it was meant because I have complete respect for the club, the chairman, the manager and our supporters. I really like the town and the people here have always been so welcoming and friendly."Reuse content