LATICS star Mohamed Diame today said he had nothing to apologise for after being quoted describing Wigan as a “c**ppy” town with no atmosphere.
The French midfielder says he really likes the place and finds the people welcoming and friendly.
But when he talked to the French magazine So Foot and was asked to compare Wigan with Madrid where he previously played as a footballer he said it was “nul” – a derogatory word which can be variously translated to mean rubbish or useless.
He also complained about the weather, lack of walks and local girls only looking good on nights out.
The words have prompted a backlash. But the player today robustly defended himself, saying: “I cannot believe what’s happened. I don’t think there’s anything to apologise for because I never said the things I’m meant to have done.
“The only people I want to apologise to are the chairman and the club for having to waste their time dealing with something that is just so completely silly.
“I had a conversation with the journalist in which we talked informally about football issues and how settled I was in England and how Wigan was different from Madrid, where I played for Rayo Vallecano.
“Of course they’re different, one’s a capital city in a hot climate, the other’s a small town where we had temperatures of -10C a few weeks ago. What am I meant to say?
“The question they asked me was whether people in England were ugly, which was a bad question so I just said the girls cover themselves up more in England because it’s colder. It was just banter.
“I hope the Wigan fans will take this in the spirit it was meant because I have complete respect for the club, the chairman, the manager and our supporters. I like the town and the people here have always been so welcoming and friendly.”