x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Beckham bites back

The England midfielder says the Los Angeles Galaxy supporters need to change their attitude.

Beckham was abused by sections of LA Galaxy's supporters during Sunday's game against Milan.
Beckham was abused by sections of LA Galaxy's supporters during Sunday's game against Milan.

CARSON, CALIFORNIA // David Beckham offered no apologies for the way he confronted an angry group of Los Angeles Galaxy fans. "It's not a setback for myself. It's other people that have to change," Beckham said after training on Thursday night. "It's not about whether I can move on. I wasn't the one booing." Beckham confronted Galaxy fans in a group called the LA Riot Squad during Sunday's 2-2 friendly draw with AC Milan. Members of the Riot Squad booed and jeered him during the game and displayed banners saying, "Go Home Fraud" and "Is Evil Something You Are or Something You Do?"

"Of course, I don't like my son seeing that and hearing that," Beckham said. "From an organized group of fans, I think it was disrespectful." At half-time, Beckham walked towards the group while shouting and pointing. He challenged fans to meet him on the field and tried to lift himself over advertising boards before security intervened. Police arrested a fan who left the stands. Then after a second-half corner kick in front of the Riot Squad's section, Beckham immediately turned to those fans, put his index finger to his lips, shrugged his shoulders and blew them a kiss. The kick resulted in a goal.

"At the end of the day, I play my game," Beckham said. "If it's not good enough for some people, as long as it's good enough for myself and the team, nothing else matters." The Riot Squad blamed Beckham for agitating the situation in a statement on the group's website, saying: "Had David responded differently on Sunday, the booing and the chanting probably would have ended at halftime. "We don't believe questioning Beckham's commitment to our team is over the line, but it's clear that David feels otherwise."

Galaxy fans have been angry about Beckham's public desire to stay with AC Milan beyond March, the original end of his loan. Both clubs and Major League Soccer negotiated a deal to let Beckham stay until the end the Serie A season. "We want to support David," the Riot Squad's statement continued. "We will almost certainly end the booing and chanting when Beckham plays in his first MLS match in our stadium, but it is ultimately up to David.

"If he shows the evident disinterest he did at the end of last season, or if he provokes us further, we might have something more to say to him." Beckham was recently criticised in the book, "The Beckham Experiment," by Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan for not giving his full effort during the final half of last season. * AP