Anfield Apology

Liverpool have issued a statement concerning the spitting allegations made by West Ham fans following the game at Anfield earlier in the season - and Paul Aldridge has responded.

The statement, issued on Liverpool's official web site, reads as follows:

Liverpool Football Club wish to clarify a statement made after the West Ham United home match on 2 November 2002.

An incident was alleged by West Ham fans during the match involving El Hadji Diouf which was categorically refuted and denied.

Despite this, we have conducted a thorough investigation into the matter, reviewing correspondence from both West Ham and Liverpool fans and liaising closely with Merseyside Police.

Merseyside Police have decided there was no evidence that an offence was committed, but have concluded that Mr Diouf did spit on the ground as he warmed up as a substitute.

As a result of discussions with Merseyside Police the club has now reviewed its procedures, particularly in relation to the location where substitute players are allowed to warm up.

On reflection, Liverpool FC appreciate that the tone of the original statement was not helpful to the good relations enjoyed between the club and West Ham fans and wish to apologise for any offence caused.

In response to the statement, West Ham United MD Paul Aldridge says: "The two clubs enjoy excellent relations and we hope this resolves the situation to everyone's satisfaction."