Manchester City apologized after striker Carlos Tevez was pictured with a sign goading Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson during the Blues’ Premier League title parade.
Tevez, who spent two years at United before leaving for City in 2009, said he “didn’t mean any disrespect” after holding up a mock tombstone reading “RIP Fergie” as City paraded the trophy on an open-top bus in Manchester yesterday.
“The creation of the tasteless material is in itself reprehensible and, in accepting and brandishing it, Carlos has made a significant error of judgment,” City said in a statement. “The club wishes to express its sincerest apologies to Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United Football Club for any offense or distress caused.”
The sign may have referred to a comment Ferguson made in 2009 when asked if United would ever be City’s underdog, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported. “Not in my lifetime,” Ferguson said at the time, according to the BBC.
City scored two stoppage-time goals in a 3-2 win against Queens Park Rangers in the final round of games two days ago to beat crosstown rival United to the title on goal difference. It was City’s first league championship since 1968.
Tevez, 28, won two Premier League titles and the Champions League in two seasons with United after joining from West Ham. He was the top goal scorer in each of his first two seasons at City. He missed three months of the title-winning campaign after leaving the team without permission following a touchline disagreement with manager Roberto Mancini during a Champions League game in September.
“I got carried away in the excitement of the moment and I certainly didn’t mean any disrespect to Sir Alex Ferguson, who I admire as a man and a manager,” Tevez said in the statement.
To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at email@example.com