Rio de Janeiro, March 30 (IANS) Former AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf has denied calling the referee a clown during an exchange that led to his injury-time dismissal in Brazil’s Campeonato Carioca last Sunday.
The former Netherlands midfielder was shown consecutive yellow cards after arguing with referee Philip Georg Bennett over where to leave the pitch when substituted during Botafogo’s 2-1 victory over Madureira, reports Xinhua.
“There was no time to say everything that the referee claimed I said,” Seedorf told a press conference Friday. “I am a Fair Play ambassador for UEFA so I know my responsibility. Why wouldn’t I respect the referee?”
The dismissal was just the second of Seedorf’s 21-year professional career. The first was while playing for AC Milan during an Italian Serie A match against Messina in April 2006.
Seedorf also criticised Madureira player Gabriel for appearing to urge Bennett to send off the 36-year-old and then celebrating when the red card was shown.
“I have a reputation and a record. It’s incredible what the Madureira player said and the way he celebrated my sending off. It was ridiculous and done in bad taste,” Seedorf said.
“I know that I am not above the law and I always try to respect it. Breaking the law is something you relate to criminals and it is as if this was a crime.”
The former Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and AC Milan star could face a ban of up to 12 matches pending an investigation by the Sports Justice Tribunal of Rio de Janeiro.