Ex-Leeds and Doncaster forward El Hadji-Diouf could be in hot water with the strength of comment that he has aimed at former-Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, with what he has said being widely reported in the media including outlets such as The Daily Mail and Daily Mirror.
Responding to criticism in Gerards’s autobiography titled ‘My Story’ where Gerard said that Senegalese striker Diouf had little interest in football and referred to an incident where he spat at a Celtic fan in the UEFA Cup at Celtic’s Parkhead ground saying, in an extract quoted in the International Business Times, “the way he spat a huge globule of gunky phlegm at a Celtic fan in a Uefa Cup match at Parkhead in March 2003 summed up his contemptuous and spiteful demeanour.”
Diouf, who played 42 games for Leeds United (five goals, seven assists) and 22 games for Doncaster Rovers (six goals and seven assists) retorted with words alleging that Gerrard was a racist in an interview with Senegalese radio station Radio Future Media, according to French site Le10 Sport. Le10 Sport state that Diouf said,
“On a tous vu comment il a rendu la vie difficile à Mario Balotelli à Liverpool. Je l’avais prévenu. Liverpool n’est pas une équipe qui accueille les noirs à moins qu’ils ne soient des Anglais. Sinon, tu n’as aucune chance. C’est de notoriété publique. Gerrard n’a jamais aimé les Blacks. Quand j’étais à Liverpool, je lui montrais que j’étais noir, je ne suis pas Anglais, mais je ne me laisse pas marcher sur les pieds. Tout le temps que j’y ai passé, il n’a jamais osé me regarder dans les yeux.” Le10 Sport – September 15, 2015
“We all saw how it made life difficult for Mario Balotelli in Liverpool. I warned [him]. Liverpool are not a team that welcomes black[s] unless they are British. Otherwise , you have no chance. This is common knowledge . Gerrard never liked Blacks . When I was in Liverpool, I showed him that I was black, I’m not English , but I will not let me walk all over . All the time I spent there , he never dared to look me in the eye.” Google Translate
With accusations as strong as these, it is safe bet that El Hadji-Diouf, currently playing for Sabah in the Malaysian Premier League, will be in hot water and Gerrard’s lawyers have already said, as reported in the Daily Mail, “The allegations in those alleged statements are completely false and seriously defamatory of our client.” This is unlikely to be the last thing that Diouf hears on this matter.