Walcott says sorry for dive
Theo Walcott has apologised for diving to try to win a penalty during Arsenal's FA Cup tie against Leeds.
Last Updated: 09/01/11 9:36am
Theo Walcott has apologised for diving to try to win a penalty during Arsenal's third-round FA Cup tie against Leeds, which finished 1-1 at Emirates Stadium.
The England youngster came off the bench in the second half on Saturday as the Gunners were trailing to a Robert Snodgrass spot-kick.
The 21-year-old forward looked to have won a penalty after going down under a tackle from Paul Connolly, but after consulting with his assistant, referee Phil Dowd changed his mind.
However, moments later it was a penalty when Walcott was tugged back by Ben Parker, and captain Cesc Fabregas converted to earn a replay at Elland Road.
Walcott has issued a statement apologising for his actions, insisting they were out of character.
He told the club's official website: "I want to apologise to the managers because I actually dived. I was trying to win the penalty.
"I said to one of their players 'would you have done it?' and he said he probably would have.
"I am not the sort of player to do it, but I own up to it and apologise. It is something I don't want to see in my game."
Walcott added: "I have heard some players say 'if there is a slight touch, go down' and it can work both ways.
"It was one of those things. I am not happy with myself for doing that, but I am happy that we got the draw.
"I had a little joke with the referee afterwards saying 'that was my first dive, can you tell?'
"I don't have to own up to it and I can't speak for other players, but I have just expressed how I feel. I hope people respect that."