'Desperado' Diouf re-ignites row
Blackburn's El Hadji Diouf claims he is a target for the media following his race row with Everton.
Last Updated: 23/10/09 10:19am
Blackburn Rovers forward El Hadji Diouf claims he is a target for the media and that he has the support of a match official in his race row with Everton.
The Senegal international ignited a war of words with the Toffees after stating that he was the victim of abuse during Rovers' trip to Goodison Park in September.
Diouf claimed he was pelted with bananas after police investigated accusations that he had made a racist comment towards a ball boy.
The 28-year-old has not been punished for the alleged incident and insists he has the backing of the match referee Lee Mason, but Everton are still demanding a public apology.
Diouf, though, insists he has no reason to say sorry, claiming in the Daily Mail: "The media have talked about something that never existed by saying that I am a racist.
"The proof is that the referee sided with me. Better still, I have not been punished. People can say what they want, but I have a charity in England that helps people. I donate money to hospitals.
"Am I a racist? I am a desperado and a bad boy and whether in England, France or Senegal I sell papers.
"They try to find out things about me all the time. But I am mentally strong and they can't hurt me. I get booed wherever I go, but I have never let my fans down. I am the leader. El Hadji Diouf is a star whether you like it or not - everybody knows me."
Diouf has also hinted that he could seek a move away from Blackburn in the January transfer window.
"I am happy for the time being, but Father Christmas could always bring me something new," he said.
Meanwhile, Diouf has hit back at criticism from international team-mate Mamadou Niang, who branded him 'useless'.
"I have written the history of Senegalese football. I am the best player the country has ever had. When it comes to ability, I don't envy anyone," he concluded.