SKY SPORTS have apologised for Graeme Souness “stereotyping Latin culture” after the pundit slated Tottenham’s Erik Lamela for play-acting.
Social media erupted when Lamela elbowed Anthony Martial then collapsed dramatically after he was slapped in retaliation, leading to the Manchester United striker seeing red in Spurs’ 6-1 romp.
But former Liverpool player and manager Souness went further in his criticism – sparking an equally-angry response.
The ex-Newcastle chief said of Argentina wideman Lamela: “He’s gone down, it’s pathetic. It’s very Latin.
“If one goes, both have to go, it’s pathetic.
“Is that what the English Premier League is about? We, and when I say ‘we’ I mean the British, do it differently.”
Tottenham legend Ossie Ardilles was among those furious at Souness’ comments.
Alongside a video of an incredibly heavy challenge from the Scot’s playing days, World Cup winner and ex-Spurs chief Ardilles posted: “I take exception to the ‘Latin’ comment of Graeme Souness about @ErikLamela.
“Stereotyping all Latin football players in this way is grossly unfair.
“It would be the same as saying that this so called tackle represents the ‘British’ way. Which is clearly doesn’t.”
Sky presenter David Jones later said on air: “Now I have to say before we go, earlier in the show we were critical of Erik Lamela’s part in Anthony Martial‘s sending off in the Manchester United/Spurs game.
“We’d like to apologise for any offence that was caused and the stereotyping of the Latin culture.”
United were already 2-1 down when Lamela clashed with Martial as they waited in the box just before the half-hour mark.
Lamela swung his arm into the throat of Martial, who responded by gently swiping him in the cheek indignantly
Ex-Roma star Lamela held his arms wide open in protest, then clutched his face and stumbled to the floor in stages.
Lamela should have gone too, says Mark Halsey
ANTHONY MARTIAL was sent off for an act of violent conduct but Erik Lamela should have received the same punishment.
What was the difference in their conduct? The only difference was Tottenham’s Lamela was a disgrace in the way he went down — the Argentine got the Manchester United striker red-carded.
Was it violent conduct? Not for me. And had Martial acted in the same way then Lamela too would have been dismissed.
When you raise your hands you do run the risk of a red card.
Both should have been cautioned for adopting an aggressive attitude towards each other.
But I’m not convinced ref Anthony Taylor saw the initial contact by Lamela so I can’t understand why VAR ref Stuart Attwell didn’t recommend a review on the monitor.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho felt United should have finished with eight men. I don’t believe Eric Bailly deliberately stamped on Harry Kane’s calf. VAR viewed the incident and felt it wasn’t a red card.
But Luke Shaw was lucky not to be sent off for a serious foul play challenge on Lucas Moura. He had no chance of winning the ball and if the contact was higher he could have broken Moura’s leg.
Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville said of the replayed incident: “Soft, soft. I think Lamela does a little it to him and he does a little bit back.”
And United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hit out at Lamela afterwards, while accepting Martial’s dismissal was “no excuse” for such a humiliating defeat.
Solskjaer said: “It is a bad reaction from Anthony. But if that (Lamela) was one of my players I’d hang him out to dry going down like that. He shouldn’t react like that.”