BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A soccer player in Belgium has demanded a public apology and damages from a television commentator who described him as being “fat as a pig”.
Charleroi issued a statement on behalf of striker Harlem Gnohere, commonly known as “Bison”, saying TV presenter Stephane Pauwels had contacted the club to offer his apologies.
Pauwels told viewers during Charleroi’s 2-1 defeat by KV Kortrijk on Saturday: “Bison is fat as a pig. He is 15 kilograms too heavy and he’s going nowhere.”
Frenchman Gnohere said he was seeking advice from a lawyer because the comments were totally unacceptable.
In a statement from the club on Wednesday, Gnohere demanded that any apology should be made in public. He said he would drop potential charges if Pauwels also made a sizeable donation to a children’s charity.
Pauwels has since responded by saying on Twitter: “Harsh, yes, that’s football. OK, I should have said ‘a few too many kilos’. My apologies to Bison.”
Pauwel’s employer RTL Belgium were not immediately available to comment.
(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop and Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Pritha Sarkar)