The former Tottenham striker Sergei Rebrov is at the centre of a race storm after a magazine claimed that he warned Roman Pavlyuchenko, the club's new £13.8 million (Dh89m) striker, about life in north London. The Ukraine striker, (left) who spent four mediocre years at Tottenham between 2000 and 2004, was quoted by the Russian magazine Football Weekly as saying that if Pavlyuchenko did not want to be a "robbery victim", he should avoid walking around the area close to Tottenham's ground.
Rebrov, who plays for the Russian side Rubin Kazan, reportedly said: "A lot of dark-skinned people live there. So naturally the crime rate is higher than anywhere else. It's not nice to be a robbery victim. So I suggest that Roman doesn't walk but drives around that area." In the same article, former Fulham midfielder Alexei Smertin was quoted as saying: "Of course there are districts where Roman shouldn't go on his own. The first place that springs to mind is Croydon. It's populated with predominantly low-income folks." A spokesman for Tottenham responded by saying: "We do not tolerate discrimination of any sort, on or off the pitch."
Meanwhile, the Spurs Tottenham first-team coach Gus Poyet has insisted there is "nothing at all" in reports linking him to the vacant Newcastle manager's job. The Uruguayan is one of the favourites to replace Kevin Keegan due to his previous working relationship with Newcastle's executive director (football) Dennis Wise when the pair were at Leeds. But Poyet said: "I'm very happy here. This is just speculation and it's all too easy because of my relationship with Dennis Wise."
* With agencies