RC Espanyol attacker Sergio Garcia has defended himself against claims that he racially abused Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti during the  two clubs' 1-1 draw at the weekend.

Garcia came on as a substitute towards the end of the match, and reports in Spain claim that the Espanyol striker threw a racial slur at Umtiti as tempers began to flare as the game drew to a close.

Garcia took to social media to respond to the allegations:

"First of all to clarify that I already spoke with Samuel yesterday. In no way were my intentions racist!" He wrote on Instagram, as per Sky Sports.

"You all know that my wife is of gypsy ethnicity and that I grew up in a neighbourhood with all the races in the world.

"My brother-in-law, with whom I have a strong friendship, is also African-American.

"Many things are said in the heat of a game which should stay on the pitch. Forca Espanyol!"


The reports in Spain suggest that the slur carried over into the tunnel after the final whistle had blown, with Umtiti angry at Garcia for what he had said.

It took for Gerard Pique - Barcelona's goalscorer and defender who could be seen shushing the Espanyol fans - to break up the fight.

After the game, Garcia is believed to have gone over to the Barcelona dressing room and apologised to the French defender - and considered the matter solved.

The draw leaves Espanyol 15th in La Liga, with Barcelona continuing their reign over the Spanish league table - yet to lose a match this season.