Gallas threatened to score own goal, claim Chelsea
FORMER Chelsea defender William Gallas refused to play for the team and threatened to score an own goal if selected, the club claimed yesterday.
Gallas, who played for France in the World Cup final this summer, has since been sold to London rivals Arsenal in exchange for England left back Ashley Cole and £5 million.
"Before the first game of the season against Manchester City, when only four defenders were available and John Terry was doubtful with an injury, he refused to play," said Chelsea in a statement. "He went on to threaten that if he was forced to play, or if he was disciplined and financially punished for his breach of the rules, that he could score an own goal or get himself sent off, or make deliberate mistakes."
The Premiership champions said Gallas, who joined the club in 2001 from Olympique Marseille, had also initially refused to play against Liverpool in last season's FA Cup semi-final. Chelsea said they had issued the statement because it was important for the fans to be made aware of the full facts.
"Despite leaving, he [Gallas] continues to attack [manager] Jose Mourinho and this cannot be left unchallenged," it added. "Chelsea made William Gallas a very substantial new contract offer to stay towards the end of last season. This was rejected.
"The issue was purely one of money, despite his public comments that he wanted a new challenge, to play abroad and so forth. These were just a smokescreen to cover up the fact he was hawking himself to the highest bidder. Having failed to secure his demands, his position became increasingly intransigent and unacceptable."
Gallas, who had asked to leave the club in May, was criticised by Mourinho when he failed to report for pre-season training on Chelsea's tour of the United States. The club
said Mourinho offered Gallas a way back into the "family" but, despite attempts to resolve the problems, the player made it clear he would never play for Chelsea again.
"Clearly this was a totally unacceptable situation for the manager, the team and the club. Chelsea's interests had to be protected and a solution was collectively agreed," added the statement.
Gallas was not immediately available for comment.
This article: http://sport.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1309412006
Last updated: 04-Sep-06 00:27 BST