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Villa complain over Sunday paper report that players protested against Kick It Out campaign

Aston Villa have reacted angrily to a press report that players were involved in a protest against the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign on the pitch against Fulham on Saturday, reports the Birmingham Mail. The Mail On Sunday claimed that certain Villa players removed their Kick It Out t-shirts early and threw them to the ground "in disgust", a report denounced by the team as "inaccurate, misleading and distorted".

An Aston Villa spokesman said: "All Aston Villa players took to the pitch for the pre-game warm-up on Saturday wearing Kick It Out t-shirts.

"As is usual practice the players were split into two groups during that warm-up to play possession football. In order to be distinguishable one group removed their Kick It Out t-shirts."

"This was not a protest. There was no controversy," the spokesman added. "Aston Villa are particularly disappointed with this irresponsible journalism, given that the journalist in question had the full facts of the matter at his disposal before this article went to press: he even asked a question regarding the issue at Saturday's post-match press conference."

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Dave Williams

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