Ex-Scottish Premiership defender PUNCHES opponent in the face in Cyprus Cup match after


  • The former Livingston defender punched an opposition player in the face
  • The 29-year-old centre-back claimed he had been insulted by racist comments
  • Secrets of those player punch-ups… and footballers who DO bear grudges – It’s All Kicking Off podcast

A former Scottish Premiership player has spoken out after punching an opponent in the face at the end of a game in response to suffering alleged racist abuse.

The defender – who played in the Scottish top-tier until last month – was involved in the shocking incident when he walked up to an opposition player and threw the punch.

A derby clash between Apollon Limassol and AEL Limassol in the Cypriot Cup quarter-finals looked set for a regulatory ending before three goals in stoppage time sparked violence.

The shocking scenes broke out after the final whistle when former Livingston centre-back Luiyi De Lucas hit out at Apollon’s Eliel Peretz.

A heated conversation between the pair appeared to be taking place immediately after the final whistle with Peretz seen saying something to Lucas.

Former Livingston centre-back Luiyi De Lucas (pictured) hit out at Apollon's Eliel Peretz

Former Livingston centre-back Luiyi De Lucas (pictured) hit out at Apollon’s Eliel Peretz

De Lucas throws a punch after the full-time whistle and claims he was subjected to 'racist' abuse

De Lucas throws a punch after the full-time whistle and claims he was subjected to ‘racist’ abuse

Players and staff tried to separate De Lucas and Peretz from re-engaging their feud

Players and staff tried to separate De Lucas and Peretz from re-engaging their feud

The exchange turned physical when De Lucas walked up to Peretz and threw a right-handed punch into the side of his rival’s face who briefly staggered.

A follow-up kick was attempted by 29-year-old Lucas – who previously admitted he was leaving Scotland in January because he was ‘homesick’ – but missed as other players mobbed the duo.

De Lucas had to be held back as he tried to break free of his team-mates grips while he attempted to get at Peretz who was similarly being restrained during the confrontation.

Both were subsequently sent off by the referee after being shown straight red cards as a result of the confrontation.

De Lucas has since issued a public apology but claims he was subjected to ‘repeated insults of deeply racist and personal nature’ by Peretz throughout the match.

Posting on his X account, the Dominican Republic-born player, stated: ‘With this statement I want to address all the fans of Cyprus, the friends of AEL, the Football Association and all the competent authorities.

‘I express my sincere apology and regret for the incident after the cup match. My actions were unacceptable and unprofessional and I want to apologise firstly to my fellow footballer, but also to everyone for my reckless behaviour.

‘In my professional career I have never had such an incident before. In all the teams I have played for, my behaviuor on and off the field was completely professional and I never had a confrontation with either another colleague or a teammate.

De Lucas previously played for Scottish Premiership side Livingston before leaving in January

De Lucas previously played for Scottish Premiership side Livingston before leaving in January

‘In no way do I justify my actions. Unfortunately my mind was clouded by the unacceptable and unprofessional behaviour of the opposing player from the moment he entered the game.

‘During his game I received constant repeated insults of a deeply racist and personal nature. I don’t want to give basis to words being used against me as I hope to move on.

De Lucas has since spoken out after the incident in his side's Cyrpus Cup quarter-final clash

De Lucas has since spoken out after the incident in his side’s Cyrpus Cup quarter-final clash

‘Never in my professional career have I experienced this level of verbal racism on the field, the frustration and humiliation I was experiencing was clouding my judgement and my mind. My reaction was an extremely poor attempt to stop what was happening to me.

‘I want to reiterate clearly that there is no excuse for my actions. Being a part of such a fine sport as football that promotes fair play, I feel it is important to provide some clarity as to what I was experiencing prior to my actions.

‘I have already filed a complaint with the Cyprus Police with the help of my lawyer and I have already started the process of reporting the racist behaviour against me to the Competent Authorities of KOP, Uefa and Fifa.

‘I want to apologise again to everyone for my behaviour and emphasise that my actions have no place in this sport. Moving forward, I am solely focused on supporting my team and my club.’ 





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