captain Cesc Fabregas has denied that he spat in the face of Michael Ballack in 2005.
The 21-year-old Spain star has been accused of spitting at the feet of Hull
assistant manager Brian Horton in the tunnel after the Gunners's 2-1 FA Cup victory over the Tigers on Tuesday night.
Soon after Hull's allegations had been made public, incriminating footage of the incident with the Germany midfielder Ballack, now at Chelsea
, emerged on YouTube.
Post-match row: Fabregas (second right) mixes it with the defeated Hull squad
The incident, filmed at Highbury in March 2005, shows the two midfielders clashing in a Champions League tie when Ballack was at Bayern Munich.
Fabregas, then 17, appears to make a spitting motion towards Ballack's face, but Fabregas insists he only shouted at his opponent.
Fabregas told The Sun: 'I have seen this video on the internet many times before and I remember the incident clearly. It was four years ago and I leant over to Michael Ballack, who was playing for Bayern at the time, and I shouted at him because I felt like I did not make a bad tackle and I felt that the contact was minimal.
'I did not spit at him. It happens during matches that sometimes you have heated exchanges with your opponents. I am not proud of it but I was 17. The referee saw it and gave me a yellow card.
VIDEO: Fabregas v Ballack Judge for yourself
'People can try and find as many video clips as they like from when I was 17, or when I was 12 playing for my school team, but this does not change anything.'
Arsenal won that European tie against Bayern 1-0 but lost the tie 3-2 on aggregate. UEFA investigated the incident but Fabregas was never called to task.
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