Emre hits back at racist claims
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Newcastle United midfielder Emre has vehemently denied that he is a racist, insisting his religion precludes such an attitude.
The Turkish international is set for a personal hearing with The Football Association following a charge of using racially-aggravated and/or insulting words in a Premiership game against Everton on 30th December.
Emre is alleged to have racially insulted Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard as well as defenders Joleon Lescott and Joseph Yobo, but the Magpies star insists that as a Muslim, he is against all forms of racism.
Moreover, the midfielder has highlighted his close friendship with Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins as another fact in his defence.
"I'm not racist. Because of my religion, I'm against racism," Emre told The Mirror.
"I gave my defence to the federation about this case, but I don't know whether I will get a ban.
"My best friend is Obafemi. He's also my room-mate, so how can anyone call me a racist?
"It's normal to say words like 'black' or 'negro' in Turkey but, when you say this in England, it's misunderstood."
Newcastle have stood by Emre during the controversy, and the midfielder has revealed the club have already offered him a new deal irrespective of the outcome of the hearing.
However, the former Internazionale star is currently considering his future in the Premiership following the storm.
"Newcastle offered me a contract, even if I get a ban," Emre added.
"I want to stay but, if I feel that everything is against me, I may have to think about my situation in England.
"I have had great support from the Prime Minister of Turkey."