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By ESPN Staff

Roeder denies Emre race cover-up

Newcastle manager Glenn Roeder has strongly denied trying to cover up accusations of racial abuse by midfielder Emre.

The 51-year-old last night issued a statement in which he admitted going into the Everton dressing room after his side's 3-0 defeat at Goodison Park on December 30 in an attempt to calm a heated situation.

However, he insisted comments made by the Turkish midfielder were unpleasant, but not racist.

Roeder said: 'I strongly deny the allegations made in some of today's newspapers that I was involved in a racist cover-up in relation to events that occurred during our match with Everton on December 30, 2006.

'At the conclusion of the match, I went into the opposition dressing room to apologise for what had been an ugly incident on the pitch.

'I was doing the decent thing because I am sensitive to the image of the sport.

'At no time did I make any apology for racist comments because Emre had told me clearly what he had said, and while not being particularly pleasant, it was not racist.'

The row arose from an incident shortly before half-time in which Newcastle were awarded a penalty.

Emre was involved in angry exchanges with Tim Howard, Joleon Lescott and Joseph Yobo, with players from both sides trying to calm frayed tempers.

Referee Dermot Gallagher consulted his assistant, but having not heard what was said he spoke to the former Inter Milan star, but took no further action.

He later reported to the Football Association that he had been informed of the allegations and an investigation was launched.

Everton were asked for their observations and although Roeder later revealed he believed the matter was closed, the midfielder was charged with using racially-aggravated language last week.

He has until January 29 to respond and has indicated that he will strongly deny the charge.

Roeder has promised the club's support in his fight to clear his name while voicing his own distaste for racism.

Emre, 26, is currently working his way back to fitness from a calf injury which has sidelined him for the last three games, and remains a doubt for tomorrow's Barclays Premiership clash with West Ham at St James' Park.