In an official statement released this evening on Twitter, 18-year-old striker Lamine Diaby, recently fired by OGC Nice for stealing team-mate Kasper Dolberg’s €70,000 watch from the dressing room, conveyed his remorse.
“After several days of an unprecedented media storm for me, I have decided to give myself a voice via a communiqué. I would like to first of all apologise to the fans and those who love Le Gym. A lot of them supported me and showed me kindness since I made my professional debut, as a youngster from the local region who joined the club when I was 14. Their reactions embody the level of disappointment that they feel towards me and I owe them an explanation.”
“I proudly wore the club of my childhood’s shirt last season in Ligue 1. I was unfortunately injured for several months and my return to competitive action was further delayed following a red card I picked up whilst playing for the U19s. That affected me mentally and my difficult situation contrasted starkly the success and aura of Kasper, my team-mate. I took it out on him without having any reason to do so, maybe a bit because of jealousy. Instead of trying to battle on the pitch to provide him with competition for places, I reacted stupidly towards him.”
“My actions were not taken out of an appetite to gain something from it, but out of disappointment, frustration and feeling discredited. Of course, I am only 18, but my age excuses nothing. I therefore owned up to what I had done to Kasper, Mr Fournier, the Director General of the club, Patrick Vieira, my coach and Dante, my captain. One by one, I apologised to each one of them. I also took on the responsibility of reimbursing my team-mate fully, which I have now done. I wish him a lot of success at OGC Nice and in his career. Maybe one day we will come across each other on a pitch and this affair will be merely a bad memory.”
“Now, I am leaving the club where I had always wanted to succeed and enjoy myself, which for me is the greatest possible punishment. I thank all those who believed in me. I hope to be able to prove one day that they were right and that I am worth more than what has happened. Redemption for me will come on the football pitch and I now want to concentrate on my passion, football.”