Le Tissier leaves Southampton role after social media post

SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Southampton great Matt Le Tissier left his ambassadorial role at the Premier League club on Wednesday following criticism of his post on social media which apparently supported a conspiracy theory that the media lied about the killings of civilians in Ukraine.

“My views are my own and always have been,” Le Tissier wrote on Twitter, “and it’s important to take this step today to avoid any confusion.”

Le Tissier, a former England international and the scorer of some of the Premier League’s greatest goals, retweeted a post suggesting the media had lied about matters such as weapons of mass destruction and the coronavirus. The post also said “but honestly they are telling the truth about Bucha!” — referring to the town on the outskirts of Kyiv from where images have emerged of civilians apparently killed by Russian forces.

Le Tissier captioned the retweet with the word “This,” adding a finger-pointing emoji.

He has since deleted his post and sought to clarify his position by saying “the point was about the media manipulation.”

“I will always remain a fan and supporter of everything Saints,” Le Tissier said. “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.”

In another post on Wednesday, Le Tissier said he wanted to make it clear he does “not advocate war in any way shape or form.”

Le Tissier played 540 times for Southampton and scored 209 goals.

Southampton has not commented on the matter.

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