Motta blames Balde for fracas
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Motta and Celtic goalkeeper Rab Douglas were sent off by the referee after a bust-up in the tunnel as both sides left the pitch.
Celtic claim Douglas is innocent of any wrongdoing and Bhoys boss Martin O'Neill is planning to lodge an appeal against the Scottish international's sending off.
Brazilian ace Motta has excused Douglas of any blame and insists Guinea defender Balde should have seen red instead.
At the end of the first half, we were going into the tunnel when the defender Balde arrived and had a go at one of my team-mates.
"Another team-mate came to break it up so Balde had a go at him too. The police got involved in the middle of it as it was spilling along towards the dressing rooms but, at that point, Celtic's keeper arrived.
"He was having a go at my team-mates so all I did was try to restrain him.
"At that point, it went off a bit and the police got hold of me to restrain me.
"I protested because it was all wrong that they were holding on to me and letting the `keeper off scot-free when all I had done was try to prevent him making things worse.
"When he came charging in, it looked like he was about to hit someone and that's why I intervened.
"So what I think is that the only one to blame for the tunnel incident is Balde.
"He completely lost it and that started the whole thing off."
Barca team-mate Xavi also backed Motta's version of events accusing Balde of starting the whole trouble.
"At half time Balde went for Motta and gave him a slap," said Xavi.
"Then their keeper got involved and we later found out Motta and the keeper had been red-carded. We were badly affected."