Actions were sign of respect to hosts

Roberto Martinez
Roberto Martinez
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ROBERTO Martinez says Wigan Athletic’s players didn’t wear their anti-racism campaign “Kick It Out” t-shirts on Saturday to show solidarity with their hosts at Swansea.

The weekend’s Premier League action was dominated by a number of well-publicised instances of individual players – including Rio Ferdinand and ex-Latics striker Jason Roberts – making a stand and refusing to wear the t-shirts in the warm-up.

The entire Latics squad opted not to wear the t-shirts, after it was understood the Swansea players had decided en masse to boycott the custom to support colleagues who did not want to wear them.

“We wanted to show a sign of respect to the home team,” said Martinez.

“The home team for whatever reason decided not to wear them, and I did not think it made sense for us to wear the t-shirts.

“We wanted to support the home team, and I would expect the same thing if Swansea come to our ground and there is a gesture from the home team.”

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup admitted he had left the decision up to his players.

“It’s an individual thing because the issue is not only a football issue, it is social too,” said the Dane.

“I don’t think with a thing like that you can say you have to do it.

“It is better to ask each one of them (the players), I didn’t want to have any influence on things, you have to ask each person as it goes much further than football.”

On the pitch, Martinez was careful to bite his tongue after seeing a perfectly-good goal from Arouna Kone late on ruled out for offside, in a game Latics eventually lost 2-1.

Martinez had earlier learned that his FA fine for improper conduct – following comments he made in the aftermath of last month’s 4-0 defeat at Manchester United – had been reduced from £10,000 to £8,000 following a second personal hearing.

The decision was made after Martinez submitted new evidence to the FA disciplinary panel earlier this week, including the filmed press conference in its entirety and a transcript of a secondary press conference.