Mousa Dembele has tried to explain his eye-gouge on Chelsea’s Diego Costa by saying his emotions got the better of him.
The Tottenham midfielder received a six-game ban from the FA as punishment for his part in the ugly incident in the 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge last month.
It was a game Spurs went into knowing they needed a victory in to keep alive their hopes of winning the Premier League, but they threw away a 2-0 lead to instead hand Leicester the title.
Dembele admits he was “disappointed” with the long ban, which means he misses the first four games of next season after already sitting out the last two of this campaign, but said he acted in the heat of the moment in what was an emotionally-charged evening where both sides were guilty of ill-discipline.
“Things happen and my intention was not to do something bad to him,” Dembele told Sky Sports. “It’s an emotional game, you react to things and now I have to learn from this. I’m not proud of this, it’s not my habit to be that emotional.
“I’m very disappointed about the six-game ban, I know [the FA] wants to leave a message, but I can’t keep on being disappointed about that.”
Chelsea were fined Â£375,000 and Spurs Â£225,000 after both clubs were charged with failing to control their players in the bad-tempered affair.