Leeds slammed in Boateng affair
By Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
MIDDLESBROUGH are continuing to stay silent on the George Boateng affair, although the player's agent has backed his charge and criticised Leeds for 'blowing the matter out of all proportion'.
The Football Association have confirmed they are looking into the fracas at The Riverside which involved around 12 players after the full time whistle and then continued down the tunnel.
Charges of misconduct and even technical assault could be handed out to Boateng, who seemed to man handle assistant referee Chris Bassindale and was seen spitting - although it remains to be seen whether he will be charged at all.
However, the FA want to hold talks with all parties, before even deiciding whether any charges should be brought against Boateng, Barmby or any staff from either club.
"It has been blown up, I think, out of all proportion, mainly by Nicky Barmby having this press conference which has now taken it to another level," blasted Silkman.
"George has been quoted out of context," said Silkman, who responded to comments made by Barmby about Boateng.
"No-one has actually heard him say that. It was just a quote that has come from somewhere.
"It did come as a bolt out of the blue that Nick Barmby had this press conference. I think it was Nick Barmby, rather than Leeds, who had the press conference.
"There was a lot of pushing and a lot of shoving at the end of the game and in the tunnel, but George is not that type of person.
"He is a very religious guy, a nice man, a family man with his wife about to have a baby in a couple of weeks' time. He is not the type of person who goes out and fights with people, who swears and spits at people. He's not a person who will go round scratching someone.
"I think something went on on the pitch, but I don't think it's as major as everyone is making out. There's so many things happen in the game. I played for 15 years and people say things and shout things at each other during a course of a game that is blown up.
"There are things which are said in the tunnel. People are very hot and they lose their temper, but it's nothing that cannot be sorted out with a little bit of common sense from all sides.
"In the next couple of days as developments unfold people will realise this has got blown up into something it shouldn't have got blown up into. It's something we want to put to bed sooner rather than later."
Silkman is confident his client will be cleared of all charges, should he be charged by the FA.
"Hopefully, within the next day or two, it will have all calmed down," he added.
"The FA will be happy with everything that's said by all parties and everyone can get on with what they do best which is playing football rather than arguing about things off the pitch.
"I don't think he [Boateng] will be in trouble over it. I'm confident he will walk away from this with his head held high."
Boro are likely to remain silent until manager Steve McCalren returns from a brief holiday before making any comment.