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FOOTBALL: I didn't make death threats.

Byline: IAN ORR

TUGAY last night denied making death threats to David Beckham and Rio Ferdinand.

The Blackburn midfield player was accused of threatening the England pair after Turkey's defeat at the Stadium of Light.

But Tugay, right, insisted he has never threatened a player during his career and had in fact received Beckham's thanks after telling him to cool it following the England captain's yellow card. The player said: "Death has no place in football. I have never threatened another player - football is a game not a war.

"After his booking I told Beckham to calm down for which he later thanked me. At no time did I mention he was going to die."

Tugay was responding to a report claiming he had told an England player: "When Beckham and Ferdinand come to Istanbul they are going to die.

"You cannot imagine how horrible the things will be that will happen to you."

Blackburn manager Graeme Souness backed Tugay and insisted the player would not become a marked man as a result.

He said: "The British public are aware that on occasions you cannot believe everything you read."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Apr 5, 2003
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