Zebina: Fans provoked finger gesture

ROME - Juventus defender Jonathan Zebina has apologised for showing the middle finger to his side's fans in Thursday's shock 4-1 Europa League defeat at Fulham but insisted he was provoked by racial taunts.

"About 30 hooligans and racists travelled thousands of kilometres to England to barrack me," the French defender was quoted as saying by Italian media on Friday after being sent off in the closing stages of the 5-4 aggregate defeat.

"These people must stop. I apologise for the ugly gesture because I certainly was not a good example for children."

Juventus have been punished before for racist chants their fans and had to play a game behind closed doors last season.

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