Arsenal winger Theo Walcott apologised for diving to try to win a penalty during his side's 1-1 draw against Leeds in the FA Cup third round today. With Arsene Wenger's team trailing 1-0 in the closing minutes at the Emirates Stadium, England winger Walcott tumbled to the turf after a challenge from Alex Bruce in the penalty area.
Referee Phil Dowd initially awarded the penalty but, after consulting with his assistant, he changed his mind. Walcott, who then won the stoppage time penalty that Cesc Fabregas scored for Arsenal's equaliser, later issued a statement apologising for his actions.
"I want to apologise to the managers because I actually dived. I was trying to win the penalty," Walcott told the club's website. "I am not the sort of player to do it, but I own up to it and apologise. It is something I don't want to see in my game.
"It was one of those things. I am not happy with myself for doing that, but I am happy that we got the draw. I had a little joke with the referee afterwards saying 'that was my first dive, can you tell?'
"I don't have to own up to it and I can't speak for other players, but I have just expressed how I feel. I hope people respect that."