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6 Apr, 2022 14:34

Premier League legend leaves role after Bucha tweet backlash

Matt Le Tissier is no longer a Southampton ambassador following a backlash to his social media message on Bucha
Premier League legend leaves role after Bucha tweet backlash

Premier League legend Matt Le Tissier has left his role as an official ambassador for former club Southampton after he received backlash to a Twitter post involving the civilian deaths in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

The iconic attacking midfielder, now 53, was castigated by numerous figures on social media on Tuesday after he appeared to claim that the media was being untruthful regarding the situation on the ground in Ukraine after Russia launched its military operation in late February.

Le Tissier, who bagged 209 goals during his 16 seasons in the south of England, was criticized after retweeting a post which suggested that Western media was being untruthful about the allegations of Russian troops killing civilians, as well as other past topics.

“The media lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction. The Media lied about Covid. The media lied about the Hunter Biden laptop. But honestly they are telling the truth about Bucha!” read the tweet shared by the football icon. 

Le Tissier has since deleted the tweet from his profile and took to the social media platform on Tuesday to announcing that he was severing ties with his former club.

“Let me make something very clear I do not advocate war in any way shape or form I do not advocate anyone taking lives of others and anyone who commits such acts should be dealt with accordingly, any atrocities leave devastating effects on the families of the victims and us all, he wrote in a series of messages on Wednesday afternoon.

“To all the fans of sfc. I have decided to step aside from my role as an ambassador of SFC. My views are my own and always have been, and it’s important to take this step today to avoid any confusion.

“This does not affect my relationship with and love for my club, and I will always remain a fan and supporter of everything Saints. I can, however, see that due to recent events it’s important to separate the work I believe in from my relationship with the club I have supported and played for most of my life.

He added in a separate message: I will see you all at St Mary’s and will always do anything I can to help the club.

Despite Le Tissier, who was capped by England eight times, seemingly stressing that he doesn't advocate for military conflict in any form, several of his Twitter followers appeared to take extreme issue with him offering dissent to the Western media position on Ukrainian conflict.

“Ever think that if you have to post this explanation then there might be something wrong with your general rhetoric?” wrote one fan.

“Real shame Matt - think you should stay off social media before you completely sabotage yourself, argued another.

Le Tissier was dropped from his role as an analyst on Sky Sports in August 2020. In the same year, he gained notoriety for his opposition to Covid-19 mandates and claimed that the media and government had over-reacted” to the pandemic.

He deleted a tweet around the same time which appeared to draw a parallel between mask mandates and the holocaust.

He further enflamed tensions when he suggested that the cardiac arrest suffered by Denmark's Christian Eriksen during Euro 2020 might be the result of a negative reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine, despite it being confirmed that Eriksen was not vaccinated at the time.

Le Tissier also commanded headlines after calling for an investigation into a spate of other footballers collapsing on the pitch and any links that might have to the vaccine.