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David Beckham not in apologetic mood

SOCCER

Some Galaxy fans need to change, says the player, who had a run-in with the Riot Squad on Sunday.

July 24, 2009|Grahame L. Jones

David Beckham let it be known Thursday that he has no intention of apologizing for his actions during the Galaxy's friendly match against AC Milan on Sunday night during which he confronted a group of disenchanted Los Angeles fans.

In fact, Beckham said, it is up to some of those fans to change their behavior.

The English national team midfielder has come in for criticism in the United States and in England for the manner in which he challenged members of the Riot Squad fan group who had verbally abused him and brandished signs ridiculing him during the game at the Home Depot Center.

Beckham confronted the group at halftime, pointing his finger angrily at one or more of the supporters and telling them to come down onto the field. One did and was taken into custody by security.

But Beckham said the entire incident will not affect him greatly.

"It's not a setback for myself," he said after the Galaxy's training session Thursday, according to the Associated Press. "It's other people that have to change. It's not about whether I can move on. I wasn't the one booing."

Beckham, who has incurred the Galaxy fans' displeasure for his ongoing flirtation with AC Milan, said he was unhappy that one of his children had witnessed the scenes.

"I don't like my son seeing that and hearing that," he said. "From an organized group of fans, I think it was disrespectful."

Beckham had acknowledged on his return from a five-month loan spell with AC Milan that he would be the target of fan displeasure but said he had received far worse during his time with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

"At the end of the day, I play my game," he said. "If it's not good enough for some people, as long as it's good enough for myself and the team, nothing else matters."

The Riot Squad, a loosely organized group of several hundred fans, has said it probably will be targeting Beckham again when the Galaxy plays European champion Barcelona in an Aug. 1 friendly at the Rose Bowl.

Meanwhile, AC Milan has not helped matters by indicating that it will try to get Beckham back again in January.

"David knows the gates of Milanello are open for him," Adriano Galliani, AC Milan's chief executive, told Reuters on Tuesday. "His lawyers know that too.

"The most probable scenario is that Beckham comes in January until the end of next season and then returns to America. Before January, there is no chance."

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grahame.jones@latimes.com

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