Assou-Ekotto explains headbutt: I could not control my temper

Spurs' defender, recently on loan at QPR, revealed to the press just why he lost control in Cameroon's recent defeat to Croatia.

He's a player who has often appeared more than happy to be in the spotlight, but even Benoit Assou-Ekotto seems uncomfortable with the recent infamy following his clash with Cameroon teammate Benjamin Moukandjo in the loss to Croatia.

Stopping short of an apology for his behaviour, the Tottenham fullback did nevertheless admit that his behaviour was stupid, while revealing exactly what caused him to behave as he did.

Telling L'Equipe that Moukandjo had repeatedly made mistakes in possession despite Assou-Ekotto trying to advise him, before angrily dismissing him in the lead up to the incident, the defender said that despite the storm surrounding his behaviour, he and the Nancy forward reconciled the next day.

Although, it wasn't the best of excuses for head butting your teammate, it did illustrate the frustration and passion the 30-year-old and his teammates were exhibiting as they crashed to the 4-0 defeat.

"It all started with the first match against Mexico (a 1-0 defeat)," said Assou-Ekotto. "Moukandjo was on my flank, he tried to dribble past two opponents and lost the ball.

"I told him he should pass it to me. He replied I was right. The same situation happened against Croatia again. Everyone can make a mistake. But when I told him again, he replied: "Get off my back!"

"I could not accept his reaction. There was so much frustration in that match.

"Now people take me for an idiot. I could not control my temper. If the score was 0-0, it would have not happened.

"When we went back to the changing-room, Samuel Eto’o talked to me, but I was so angry that I didn’t admit I was wrong.

"The next day, we met with Moukandjo again during breakfast and we shook hands.

"That kind of thing can happen when a team doesn’t work right. I didn’t think. Millions of people were watching at the match, and a lot of kids. I am a human being and I can get upset just like anyone.”

Whether his semi-apology holds any sway with those back at White Hart Lane, only time will tell, but there is every chance the club will not tolerate having a player capable of such things on their books, especially considering that it was broadcast across the globe.

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