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Football: RACIST SPAIN BOSS AT IT AGAIN; All I did was to motivate gypsy Reyes by telling him he was better than that black man Henry.

Byline: JOHN CROSS

RACE row coach Luis Aragones plunged himself into even deeper trouble last night when he branded Arsenal star Jose Antonio Reyes a "gypsy".

The Spain boss (above) had already caused outrage by calling Thierry Henry a "black s***" and refusing to condemn thousands of Spanish fans who aimed racist abuse at England's black players during November's friendly in Madrid.

But Aragones has now dug himself a deeper hole after saying his remarks were aimed at telling Reyes the "gypsy is better than the black".

Aragones said: "Reyes is ethnically a gypsy. I have got a lot of gypsy and black friends, I consider myself a citizen of the world, I don't care about their skin colour.

"All I did was to motivate the gypsy by telling him he was better than the black.

"I feel I have been the victim of a lynching. All I did was try to motivate Reyes, comparing him with Henry and making him see that he was better. I didn't use the term 'black' with any racist meaning.

"I'm not going to forget what's happened. A section of the press in this country (Spain) has lynched me and I will not forget that my family have had a very bad time as a consequence of this."

Shamed Aragones will now face stiff disciplinary action or possibly the sack as governing bodies UEFA and FIFA put pressure on the Spanish FA to punish him.

The Spanish FA got off with a pounds 45,000 fine from UEFA after their fans racially abused England's black players in November.

But it is understood they are angry Aragones has again brought shame on his nation with his latest remarks, made to a Spanish newspaper.

Arsenal striker Henry branded the affair a "disgrace" after Aragones called him a "black s***" in front of television cameras during an international training session.

Although the FA and Arsenal are unlikely to make a formal complaint this time, both will make their feelings known to UEFA and FIFA.

Aragones never publicly apologised to Henry but his latest remarks will once again stir up the long-running racist storm.

The FA were furious that the Spanish FA escaped with such a small fine after England's black players, Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips, were abused during the friendly in Madrid in November.

England Under-21 players were also racially abused the previous night.

It is believed the racist storm has even damaged Madrid's Olympic bid to host the 2012 Games.

CAPTION(S):

REYES: Insult; THE FIRST SCANDAL: Mirror Sport, October 7
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:426
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