Three shamed Leicester players who allegedly filmed themselves in an orgy in which a Thai woman was racially abused were flying home on Monday morning amid calls for them to be sacked.
The Premier League club said they were "deeply concerned" and have launched an investigation after the emergence of footage apparently showing three squad members in a sex session in which a woman is called a "slit eye".
Defender James Pearson, 22 - the son of the club's manager Nigel - striker Tom Hopper, 21, and goalkeeper Adam Smith, 22, all appear naked in the video, obtained by the Sunday Mirror.
In a statement the club, owned by Thai billionaires, said the players "would like to convey their sincere apologies for their behaviour - to the women involved in the incident, to the club and its owners, to the club's fans and to their families".
But fans and members of the Thai community have called for the trio to be sacked, and the players were flying back to the UK where they will be investigated by the midlands club.
The Executive Director of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) has accused three Leicester City Football Club players of being "privileged young men" who are "exerting their power" over women and "demeaning them sexually and racially abusing them".
It's after a sexually explicit video emerged of three players allegedly filming themselves in Thailand, in which a Thai woman was racially abused. The players have apologised amid calls for them to be sacked.
Leicester City is owned by father and son Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha from Thailand. Manager Nigel Pearson, who's son James was named as one of those allegedly taking part in the video, is a patron of the charity Show Racism the Red Card, which uses football to campaign against racism in the sport.
"There is no point in pretending that videos like this aren't made and shared all the time, but the arrogance of doing it while on a goodwill trip to the country of your owners, the people paying your salaries, is mind-blowing.
The fact that they are Premier League footballers, and one of them is the manager's son, means that there is a responsibility to behave, like it or not. I hear Nigel Pearson takes a strong stance against discrimination. It's a shame he hasn't passed the message on to his players and even more of a shame his son doesn't get it."
Three Leicester City footballers who allegedly filmed themselves in a sexually explicit video in Thailand in which a Thai woman was racially abused, have apologised amid calls for them to be sacked.
Leicester City Football Club said it is "deeply concerned" and has launched an investigation after the video emerged in a national newspaper.
It's claimed defender James Pearson, 22 - the son of the club's manager Nigel - striker Tom Hopper, 21, and goalkeeper Adam Smith, 22, all appear in the video.
The club has tonight issued a new statement saying the three Premier League players concerned "would like to convey their sincere apologies for their behaviour - to the women involved in the incident, to the club and its owners, to the club's fans and to their families".
But some fans and members of the Thai community have called for the three players seen in the video to be sacked.
The trio are flying back to the UK where they will be investigated by the club.
See the full club statement here.
Leicester City Football Club has issued a new statement over allegations about three of their young professionals. It is after a video emerged of them in Thailand.
"The Board of Leicester City Football Club is deeply concerned about an incident involving three of our young professionals during a recent trip to Thailand.
Our players at every level are expected to behave as representatives and ambassadors for our Football Club, both on official Club duty and in their personal lives, so we treat their conduct extremely seriously.
Following a preliminary meeting in consultation with the three players earlier today, the players involved in the incident are now returning to the UK, in advance of the rest of the squad. Tom Hopper, James Pearson and Adam Smith would like to convey their sincere apologies for their behaviour – to the women involved in the incident, to the Club and its owners, to the Club’s fans and to their families.
A formal process of investigation will be undertaken with the players in conjunction with their representatives and, as such, no further comment can be made at this stage.
Leicester City remains wholly committed to promoting equality in football and in wider society and to our players recognising their responsibilities as role models to young people.”
More on the story here.
Leicester City Football Club has launched an "internal investigation" after reports three of its players were filmed in a sexually explicit video in which a Thai woman was allegedly racially abused.
The video, obtained by the Sunday Mirror, allegedly shows defender James Pearson, 22, the son of the club's manager Nigel, naked in a hotel room.
It is alleged he is joined by striker Tom Hopper, 21, and goalkeeper Adam Smith, 22, who appear to be shown lying naked in a bed laughing as the video is filmed.
One of the stars is reported to appear to call a woman "slit eye" in a race slur.
We take the conduct of our players at every level extremely seriously and will take appropriate action, if necessary, once the full facts of the situation have been established.
Pending the outcome of an internal investigation, the Club will make no further comment.
Aston Villa have taken a huge knock in their fight for Premier League survival after losing 6-1 away to Southampton.
In a record breaking first half, Southampton's Sadio Mané scored three in less than three minutes, smashing Robbie Fowler's long-held record (4mins 33secs) for the fastest ever hat-trick scored in the Premier League.
The hosts scored two more before the half time whistle thanks to Shane Long, with Christian Benteke finding the back of the net for Villa in injury time.
But in the second half Tim Sherwood's men continued to be outplayed by The Saints, and the final insult was Graziano Pelle's 81st minute goal.
The result means Aston Villa's goal difference has took an unwelcome bashing at such a late stage in the season, with just one more game against Burnley to go.
As far as relegation goes, if other results don't go Villa's way, Tim Sherwood and his team are not out of the woods yet.
Aston Villa have had a nightmare first half in their crucial game against Southampton as they fight to keep their place in the Premier League.
Southampton forward Sadio Mané scored three in less than three minutes, smashing Robbie Fowler's long-held record (4mins 33secs) for the fastest ever hat-trick scored in the Premier League.
Despite Villa dominating possession, Shane Long slotted a fourth and fifth home for the hosts, leaving Tim Sherwood's 11 stunned. There was some consolation with Christian Benteke pulling one back for Villa in injury time.
Aston Villa are currently on 38 points and 14th in the table, closely followed by Leicester in 15th with 37 points.
But just 4 points separate Villa from Hull in 18th - the first relegation spot.
Derby County sponsor Marathon Bet sent a signed shirt to George Clooney along with an open invite to watch the Rams in any game.Read the full story ›
Chesterfield have appointed Dean Saunders as their new manager.
He takes over from Paul Cook, who left for Portsmouth on Tuesday, and has been given a two-year contract.
It is a great opportunity as this is a club on the rise, run by good people, and I am inheriting a very good team from Paul Cook.
Taking over now gives me a full pre-season to make a fresh start, put my plans in place and work with the squad, which is a great position to be in.
The profile of the club has been raised in the last few years and there has been an impressive increase in attendances so it is an exciting prospect and I can’t wait to get started.
When chairman Dave Allen and I met Dean, it was clear that he shared our vision for the future of the club. He has infectious enthusiasm for the job and he is in the enviable position of joining a club with solid foundations.