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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Girard sorry for offensive gesture

Montpellier coach Rene Girard has expressed his regret at making an offensive gesture to Schalke counterpart Huub Stevens after the Champions League game between the two clubs in Germany.

Girard made the gesture after the teams had drawn 2-2 and was later banned for one match by UEFA, meaning he will not be on the bench for next week's Champions League game against Olympiakos.

Asked about what happened by L'Équipe, Girard said: "I said, and I repeat, it was wrong. I regret it.

"But during the first quarter of the match, the German bench wanted to intimidate us. I turned to him [Huub Stevens] twice, and then he spoke louder.

"I don't speak German, but I understood he wasn't being nice. When Schalke scored the 1-1 goal, he rushed to me. So, at the end, I made this gesture.

''I should go straight to the changing room and pretend everything is OK, but I can't. Shaking hands and thinking 'F*** you', I can't. Some people, like my wife, say I have to keep my mouth shut. But you'll never change me."

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