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Declan Rice Apologises After Tunnel Footage Of Heated Moment With Referee Goes Viral

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Declan Rice Apologises After Tunnel Footage Of Heated Moment With Referee Goes Viral

West Ham midfielder Declan Rice has apologised for confronting referee Jesus Gil Manzano following the club's Europa League exit, labelling it a "heat of the moment" incident.

David Moyes' side were knocked out of the competition by Eintracht Frankfurt after losing both legs of the semi-final clash.

In the first leg, goals from Ansgar Knauff and Daichi Kamada gave the Bundesliga side a 2-1 lead going into the second leg, and on Thursday night, a 25th minute strike from Rafael Maury sealed Frankfurt's place in the Europa League final.

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It was a fiesty affair at The Waldstadion. In total, referee Manzano brandished nine cards throughout, including the dismissal of West Ham manager David Moyes, who almost volleyed a ball at a young ball boy.

And after the full-time whistle, a furious Declan Rice made his feelings known in the tunnel.

"Ref it's so poor, all night it's so bad," the England international can be heard saying. "How can you be that bad? Honestly, probably been f**king paid. F**king corruption."

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Since the footage emerged online, West Ham have released a statement saying they are "aware" of the video that appears to show Rice accusing the referee of "corruption".

"The club is aware of the video circulating on social media but will not be commenting further until the referee's report has been considered," the club said via BBC.

That being said, manager David Moyes has said Rice will not be punished by the club for his actions. "If Uefa punish him that's down to them, but not on my watch." he added.

Rice, meanwhile, has since responded to the footage in a TikTok comments section. "Heat of the moment, football gets like this," he wrote. "I've apologised and moved on."

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Image credit: TikTok
Image credit: TikTok

In a press conference on Friday, Moyes reacted to Rice confronting the referee after their Europa League defeat.

“We all cared very much last night. We felt as if we had been treated quite badly overall and that is what happens," he said.

“If you know about football, everybody is emotional so unless you’re in the heat of it sometimes people don’t understand how it feels.

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“Last night, we had a group of players who were really connected, trying to win the game and felt it was very difficult under lots of different circumstances.”


Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Fox Sports

Topics: West Ham United, Declan Rice, Premier League, Eintracht Frankfurt, Europa League

Jack Kenmare
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