Notifications

TFC's Jozy Altidore says video of tunnel clash shows he's innocent

Toronto forward Jozy Altidore says video backs his account of last weekend's tunnel clash with New York Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan, which caused both players to be ejected from the second leg of Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference semifinal.

Toronto forward hoping 1-game suspension will be rescinded in time to play Columbus

Jozy Altidore, right, of Toronto FC and Sacha Kljestan of the New York Red Bulls scuffle during first half MLS playoff action on Sunday. Both players would later receive red cards for violent conduct in the tunnel and would not feature in second-half play. (ESPNFC/Twitter)

Toronto forward Jozy Altidore says video backs his account of last weekend's tunnel clash with New York Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan, which caused both players to be ejected from the second leg of Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference semifinal.

Toronto appealed Altidore's red card and one-game suspension, discipline that would cause him to miss the first leg of the conference final at Columbus on Nov. 21.

"I think the club's doing a great job handling it and I'm looking forward to being part of both legs against Columbus," Altidore said Thursday.

Altidore said Kljestan initiated the tunnel incident. The two clashed late in the half, with Kljestan giving him a shove.

"He came up behind me, tried to like grab or whatever, and I just pushed him off me, and that was it," Altidore said. "Then I walked right into the locker room. I didn't even see or know about the whole brawl thing until later on. I was not involved in any way. I defended myself quickly and that was it. The video doesn't lie. And hopefully the league is going to do the right thing, which I'm sure they will."

Kljestan said after Sunday's game that Altidore was the aggressor.

"At halftime, [Altidore] shoved me into the wall," he maintained. "And so I have a clear conscience. I don't feel like I deserve a red card."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.