Toure apologies for his part in fracas

February 26, 2007

Arsenal defender Kolo Toure has apologised for his part in the Carling Cup melee - and hopes The Football Association will show leniency once they have reviewed video evidence of the incident at the Millennium Stadium.

Officials at Soho Square will await the arrival of Howard Webb's referee report into yesterday's match between the Gunners and Chelsea before deciding whether to take further action.

Toure, team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor and Blues' midfielder Mikel Jon Obi were all sent off in the closing stages of Chelsea's 2-1 win.

Frank Lampard and Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas were cautioned.

It also seemed full-back Emmanuel Eboue was guilty of clashing with Wayne Bridge, rather than Adebayor.

Claims for wrongful dismissal or mistaken identity must be logged with the FA today under the new fast-track disciplinary system - otherwise all three men will be automatically banned for three matches.

Toure, 25, was captain of the young Arsenal side in Cardiff, and accepts his behaviour was out-of-character as frustration got the better of him.

The Ivory Coast international said: 'I apologise for this moment, and I regret my actions.

'Chelsea were winning and were starting to waste time, and I was not happy with that, which is why I went to Mikel and had some words with him.

'Then Lampard came in and maybe made the thing bigger than it was, but that is part of football.'

Toure maintained: 'I do not think so [will get banned]. When they look at the tape, they will see I have done nothing wrong.

'When you are a player like me, I have had a lot of games, but do not choose to do that type of thing.

'The people who run football know who is bad and they know that I am always trying to do my best for the club, the team and the fans as well.

'It can happen to anybody, though. You can make a mistake in any job, or do something bad. That is why you need to apologise, which I have done.

'You do not need to make it bigger.'

Toure insisted he had not let the club down. The defender said: 'I do not feel so, because I have given my best - everybody could see that, which is the most important thing for me.'

Toure accepted the mass brawl, which also saw coaches Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho come onto the pitch - had taken the shine off a decent contest.

Arsenal took an early lead through Theo Walcott's first goal for the club, before the Blues turned things around following Didier Drogba's brace.

Toure said: 'We saw just how good the young Arsenal players are. We will see more coming from them. It shows that the future of the club is really good.'

He added: 'You can see that we really wanted to win the trophy and on the pitch we played great football. We are really disappointed.'