A WIGAN community worker has laid into Latics star Mohamed Diame and urged him to do voluntary work after his unflattering comments about Wigan.
The midfielder inadvertantly made national headlines the other day after giving an interview to a French magazine in which he described Wigan as “cold, c**ppy and with nothing to do and no atmosphere.”
Both he and club chairman Dave Whelan have defended the interview, saying that he has done nothing wrong and that some media had also misquoted him.
Speaking on Latics’ own website, Diame said that the “complete rubbish” written about him in the last week had only served to make him and the team stronger and given all the players a “good laugh”.
He accused national papers of picking out a couple of “flippant” comments about the town and English girls and turned everything on its head.
But despite his protestations and defence, the remarks about the town (made after being asked to compare it with his previous club’s home city of Madrid), have caused upset amongst Wigan locals.
Barbara Nettleton is a well known community volunteer and senior manager of Scholes’s Sunshine House community centre.
She has taken offence at the remarks and said the player should go back to Spain as he “obviously does not appreciate the community that allows him to earn his huge wage paid by the people of Wigan who support Latics”.
She added: “I live and work voluntarily in Scholes, Wigan, and I refer to the comments by Mohamed Diame. I would suggest that before he returns Madrid, to what he feels is obviously a warmer, more welcoming environment where he believes beauties walk round half undressed during the day, that he put his money where his big mouth is and do some voluntary work with young people.
“That would keep his idle hands and insulting tongue busy.”
And she extended an invitation to him to join them at the community centre.
She added: “I would like to invite Mr Mohamed Diame to Sunshine House, Scholes, to see the arts group, meet the dancers, participate in computer courses chat to young people, join the Manga classes and perhaps he would then see that it’s not the people from Wigan or Wigan itself which is c**p but his selfish, thoughtless, mindless comments.”
A club spokesman said that no further comment was going to be made on the Diame issue.
He added that if Ms Nettleton wanted to invite the player to Scholes she could contact the club direct.