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Aston Villa's Celtic loanee Tonev insists: I'm not racist

Aleksandar Tonev has vehemently denied claims that he is racist after seeing an appeal for a seven-match ban turned down.

The Bulgarian winger, who is on a season-long loan at Celtic from Aston Villa, was accused of racist behavior towards Aberdeen's Shay Logan stemming from an incident in a match earlier this season.

The Scottish Football Association suspended Tonev for seven matches after finding him guilty but his denial of the matter prompted Celtic to appeal the hefty ban.

However, the original decision has been upheld after the appeal tribunal deemed Tonev to be neither a 'credible or reliable' witness but the 24-year old wanted to defend his name by releasing a statement on the official website of the Scottish champions.

"A lot has happened in the last few months. It has been a very difficult time for me and everyone involved. All I can do is move on from this now," Tonev said.

"I have made my case all along that I never used the words I was accused of using. I say again that I did not do this, I know what I am and I am not a racist.

"I want everyone to understand that, most of all the Celtic fans, who have been a great support to me since coming to the club. I know what happened and I know that I will definitely recover from this as a stronger person."

The former CSKA Sofia and Lech Poznan ace, who has already served one match of his sanction, will next be available for the Hoops when they take on Ross County on January 24.

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