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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Valencia open disciplinary action against Ayala

MADRID, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Valencia said they had opened disciplinary proceedings on Sunday against Argentine international centre back Roberto Ayala for his criticisms of the club last week.

Ayala railed against club president Juan Bautista Soler and sporting director Amedeo Carboni for failing to honour a promised contract extension and accused the two men of having cheated him.

'I wanted to stay here until the end of my career but that dream had now disappeared because certain people did not keep their word,' Ayala told a news conference on Friday.

'It hurts that I have been cheated by a club for which I have given everything.

'I was forced to take this decision and I have told both the coach and president that I want to leave.'

Valencia responded by accusing the 33-year-old of being more interested in money than playing for the club.

'I profoundly lament these comments that have come at a most inopportune moment,' Carboni told the club's Web site.

'At the same time the comments have opened our eyes and strengthened our desire to count on players who are truly committed to the club and less interested in cheques.'

Ayala, who joined Valencia from AC Milan in 2000, is under contract with the club until the end of the season.

Regional rivals Villarreal are interested in signing the former Argentina captain, but Valencia have said they will not negotiate over the player.

Ayala sat in the stands as his side beat AS Roma 2-0 in a pre-season friendly at the Mestalla on Saturday.