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Blues play down Kalou gesture

Chelsea striker denies 'handcuff' claim

Last Updated: 29/01/09 9:31am

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Kalou gesture

Kalou gesture

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Chelsea have denied that Salomon Kalou's celebrations against Middlesbrough were a 'handcuff' gesture.

Kalou's double in the 58th and 80th minutes was enough to lift Chelsea into second place in the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Middlesbrough.

The Blues are now just two points behind leaders Manchester United and face third-placed Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

Kalou celebrated both goals by crossing his wrists but Chelsea and the player were quick to deny it had political origins.

The gesture was alleged to have been in support of Ivory Coast political activist Antoine Assale Tiemoko.

Tiemoko was released from a one-year prison sentence last month after being convicted of 'libelling the prosecutor's office' and being in 'contempt of court'.

Tiemoko, an occasional contributor to the daily Le Nouveau Reveil, was arrested in December 2007 after the newspaper had published his opinion piece on judicial corruption.

But a spokesperson for Chelsea insisted: "Salomon says there was nothing in it.

"He was just trying out a new celebration and it was a crossing of the arms.

"He also sometimes puts his hand over his face like a mask."

Scolari bust-up

Meanwhile, Boro boss Gareth Southgate accused Luiz Felipe Scolari of attempting to get Mohamed Shawky sent off when the Middlesbrough player, who had already been booked, was penalised for handball.

Scolari appeared to wave an imaginary card at referee Lee Probert and the gesture incensed Crosby.

The pair exchanged angry words after the incident and Southgate later revealed that Scolari had refused to shake hands at the end of the game.

"There were words between my assistant and Phil Scolari," said Southgate.

"He seemed to want to get one of my players booked. He didn't shake hands at the end. A strange reaction, but that's his prerogative."

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