Matt Le Tissier quits as Southampton ambassador after Ukraine tweet backlash

Former Southampton forward Matt Le Tissier has resigned from his ambassador role at the club after receiving huge backlash for a tweet about Ukraine.

On February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since that date, war has raged on across the country.

On March 31, the local mayor claimed that Ukrainian forces had retaken the city of Bucha, situated inside the province of Kyiv Oblast. That was after Russia had previously occupied it.

Following this, there has been growing evidence of atrocities being committed by Russian forces in the city. Bodies of civilians have been seen lying in the street, as well as mass graves. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has described the evidence as “genocide“. US president Joe Biden described Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as a “war criminal”.

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What did Le Tissier tweet?

In response to a tweet appearing to claim that the media is lying about the horrific images and footage from Bucha, Le Tissier wrote ‘This’ with a finger-pointing emoji.

Following heavy backlash, the former England forward deleted his tweet.

Numerous high-profile individuals from across sport and popular culture condemned Le Tissier for his tweet. They include comedian David Baddiel and England legend Gary Lineker, as well as others.

Le Tissier resigns as Southampton ambassador

A day after his tweet on Ukraine, Matt Le Tissier has announced that he will be stepping away from his role as ambassador at former club Southampton. It was a role he had undertaken since 2019.

However, he stopped short of apologising for his previous tweets.

He stated: “To all the fans of Southampton FC. I have decided to step aside from my role as 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 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.

“I will see you all at St. Mary’s and will always do anything I can to help the club.”

Le Tissier was formerly on Sky Sports as a pundit on Soccer Saturday. Since his sacking from the show in 2020, he has rarely appeared on TV.

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