Cruyff turns on accusers

Former Ajax star refutes claims he made racist remarks to Davids

Johan Cruyff was voted as European player of the century in 1999 and second only to Pele in a world player of the century poll

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Johan Cruyff has hit back at claims he launched a racist tirade at fellow Ajax legend Edgar Davids during a supervisory board meeting at the Amsterdam club.

The Dutch master is alleged to have blasted the former AC Milan and Barcelona midfielder by claiming he is only part of the board because of his colour.

The incident is another low point for football and comes hot on the heels of alleged racist abuse made by John Terry and Luis Suarez towards Anton Ferdinand and Patrice Evra respectively as well as FIFA president Sepp Blatter's interview in which he stated that racism does not exist in football.

But the three time Ballon d'Or winner has dismissed the claims in his column for De Telegraaf newspaper.

He wrote: "Ajax is a multi-cultural club and we have found that many talented immigrant players quit when they reach puberty.

"So we wanted to tackle this problem with someone from the same background, who had come through it. And that was Edgar Davids.

"During one of our fights I pointed that out to him. But it had nothing to do with his skin colour."

The pair are said to have fallen out when Davids and other board members decided to appoint former coach Louis van Gaal as the club's new general director without Cruyff's knowledge.

But Davids was also quick to play down the incident which he described as 'unfortunate' in a message on his website.

He said: "I never said, and I want to emphasise that, that Johan Cruyff was a racist, despite this unfortunate remark on his part.

"I would also like to make clear I have deep respect for the soccer player John Cruyff."

A statement on the official website read: "At the meeting for Members Council and Board of Ajax, with the complete Advisory Board present, it was established that a breach of trust occurred between Johan Cruyff on one side, and Steven ten Have, Edgar Davids, Marjan Olfers and Paul Romer on the other.

"During the meeting, Cruyff confirmed that he was no longer prepared to work towards repairing this breach. This has several consequences for the functioning of the Advisory Board."