Alpay: Scuffle not my fault
By Mark Buckingham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Aston Villa defender Alpay has attempted to pin the blame for the half time scuffle which marred England's draw in Turkey on David Beckham and hopes the incident will not ruin his future in The Premiership.
The duo clashed en route to the tunnel after Alpay had goaded Beckham following the England captain's disastrous penalty miss.
Alpay confronted Beckham while the Real Madrid star was on his knees and then prodded his finger in the England man's face as the players trooped off at the break.
Beckham reacted by chasing after Alpay before a melee broke out involving several other players, as tempers became increasingly frayed in the white-hot atmosphere in Istanbul.
Italian referee Pierluigi Collina hauled both men into his dressing room and gave them a stern warning that a reprisal of their spat in the second half would result in a red card.
But volatile stopper Alpay is adamant he was the innocent party in the half time confrontation and is eager to display his true colours when he returns to Premiership action with Villa.
"In the tunnel I was just walking with the rest of the players when Beckham pushed me in the back and made my studs skid on the floor and I fell down," claimed Alpay.
"Some people then came between us and there was a scuffle.
"The referee pulled me and Beckham into his dressing room, sat us down and told us that if there was any more trouble he would give us both a red card immediately.
"But I did not swear at Beckham, not at all. The things that happened between the players were normal in an atmosphere like that and I did not swear. I only told him not to provoke the crowd.
"I'm now even more determined to show everybody in England the real Alpay and just who the Turks are. I'm convinced we'll also be in Portugal."
Alpay also revealed his fears that the frenzy whipped up by the Beckham bust-up will have a detrimental effect on his position at Villa Park.
"I've heard all about what the supporters are saying at Villa and I have heard what has been written in the English newspapers," he told The Daily Mirror.
"I think it is all very unfair and I think maybe this will have the effect of deciding my future at Aston Villa once and for all."