Were singing carols: Enrique on Suarez threatening Espanyol players

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Barcelona, Jan 7 (IANS) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has quashed reports that his forward Luis Suarez threatened Espanyol footballers inside the tunnel, saying that they were singing Christmas carols after their Copa Del Rey victory here at Camp Nou.

Enrique’s side thrashed Espanyol 4-1 on Wednesday, but it was a heated affair in the middle with Espanyol ending the game with just nine players on the pitch. Suarez also had a clash with Papakouly Diop after the final whistle, the Guardian reported on Thursday.

According to referee Juan Martínez Munuera’s report, Diop was red-carded in the 75th minute of the contest for abusing Suarez.

The report also mentioned, Suarez waiting for Diop in the tunnel and then shouting out: “I’m waiting for you, come here! You’re a waste of space.”

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The comment led to a confrontation between the players and security guards had to intervene.

“Christmas carols (terming the confrontation). It isn’t down to the coaches or the players to keep the peace,” Enrique said.

“It’s down to the referees to ensure that we play football and not American football. There was some tension. I’d like it if there were more football, fewer interruptions and no injuries.”

“When someone oversteps the mark, it’s down to the referees to keep order. Of course there’s tension in these games. The players know each other, they’re two teams with a special rivalry, but that rivalry has to remain positive.”

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