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Football: Odemwingie stands ground over transfer farce

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Striker Peter Odemwingie has dismissed criticism from his club West Bromwich Albion over his bizarre attempt to force through a transfer to Queens Park Rangers on Thursday.

Amid surreal scenes on transfer deadline day, the Nigerian was shown on television waiting outside QPR's Loftus Road stadium in his car, apparently in the mistaken belief that West Brom had agreed to sell him.

QPR refused to let him enter their ground and West Brom subsequently issued a statement criticising his conduct, with chairman Jeremy Peace accusing Odemwingie of acting "wholly unprofessionally".

Odemwingie on Friday conceded that his behaviour had been "a little unprofessional", but alleged that he joined West Brom from Lokomotiv Moscow in similar circumstances in 2010.

"I came to this club (West Brom) in a wholly unprofessional way," he told Sky Sports News.

"I wasn't given any written permission by Lokomotiv Moscow, but I arrived at this club. I did a medical. I don't think everything went so professional when I arrived."

Clarifying his comments, he added: "I'm saying that these things don't matter so much when adults are dealing with each other.

"I think there was a misunderstanding somewhere because I could have held my goodbyes to the (West Brom) players if I was told it is not going to happen."

Odemwingie went on to explain that he had been made to believe West Brom were happy for him to leave.

"They (West Brom) didn't give me written permission, but you know, we are in England, and when you're gentlemen, you understand each other so easily," he said.

"In my opinion, everything was done right and at the last moment, I don't know what really happened, but I think other people can answer this question as well."

Despite the embarrassment of his thwarted bid for freedom, Odemwingie says he fully expects to be allowed to leave West Brom in the near future.

"I love the club, I love the fans, I did perform here, I did enjoy myself here," he said.

"I will always love the club, no matter what's happened, but I will still leave. It's just a matter of time."

Media reports suggested Odemwingie had been sent home in disgrace after reporting for training with West Brom on Friday morning, but he said he had simply been told to take a break.

Speaking outside the club's training ground, he said: "I've had a chat with (technical director) Dan Ashworth this morning and the club will say more later.

"I have been given a few days off and will be back in training next week."

West Brom later released a statement to clarify matters and said that Odemwingie would not be involved in the Premier League home game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

"Albion confirm that Peter Odemwingie reported for training this morning," the club said.

"The player met with board members Dan Ashworth and Richard Garlick and head coach Steve Clarke for preliminary discussions, which proved constructive.

"After the events of the past week, the club decided it is in the best interests of all parties that Peter is not involved in Sunday's game and he was given permission to return home."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130201/football-odemwingie-stands-ground-over-transfer-farce-1