Alcaraz apologises for spitting
Wigan captain Antolin Alcaraz has issued an apology on the club's website for the spitting incident that has landed him a three-match ban.
Alcaraz was caught by television cameras spitting at Wolves defender Richard Stearman towards the end of Wigan's 3-1 Premier League defeat at Molineux on Sunday and this week accepted a misconduct charge from the Football Association, resulting in the suspension.
A statement from Alcaraz on Wigan's official website read: "I would like to apologise for my actions following the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers last Sunday.
"I apologise to anyone connected to our football club for the offence and upset that my actions have caused. I reacted wrongly after being provoked but I never meant to spit on an opposing player.
"I was having a confrontation with Christophe Berra and in wanting to show my frustration, my intention was to spit on the ground beside him, which was my way of answering the verbal abuse that I was receiving.
"Unfortunately, as you can see in the video evidence, my spit, instead of finding the ground, regrettably struck Richard Steadman in the chest, and I apologise to him for this.
"I apologise to my fellow players, staff, supporters and everyone associated with Wigan Athletic for the problems this has caused.
"I am hurting now because I know I cannot help my team mates in the next three games, and for that I am very sorry.
"I will keep working hard to stay fit and be ready to help the team again as soon as the ban is over.''
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez also released a statement on the site, confirming Alcaraz had said sorry to him personally for the episode and that an apology had already been made to Wolves.
"The player has apologised to me and has accepted that he did wrong,'' Martinez said. "The incident does not reflect the normal character of someone who takes his responsibilities very seriously.
"Antolin is a special character and a big asset for our squad and you would never normally see him associated with that sort of behaviour.
"Unfortunately, he lost control of his actions due to the importance of the game and the frustrating nature of our performance on the day, and even though they were mitigating factors, spitting is not an action that should be associated with any ambassador of Wigan Athletic.
"He clearly cares with his life for every Wigan Athletic result. He's a true professional and in this incident has reacted wrongly due to a combination of anger, frustration and cultural differences.
"I know he never meant to spit on an opposing player but he will learn from his actions. We have already apologised to Wolves and we are ready to draw a line under it.
"All of our foreign players need to understand the culture of the country they are playing in, and the seriousness of what certain actions mean in England, whatever the provocation.''