Girard claims rude gesture at Stevens 'came naturally'

The French coach has admitted that his behaviour in midweek was not acceptable, but insisted that it was a natural reaction to the actions of his counterpart
Montpellier coach Rene Girard has spoken of how he regrets his actions in the aftermath of his team's clash with Schalke, but made clear that he was provoked.

The 58-year-old raised made a rude gesture at the Schalke coaching staff at full-time, but was quick to acknowledge that both parties were at fault.

"He [Stevens] obviously thought it was okay to wave at us and make gestures." Girard told RTL.

"He came to talk a little bit. I'm sorry for this, but it's true that at the end of the game I made an improper gesture. But it came so naturally that I couldn't refrain myself from doing it."

The coach mentioned that he is disappointed that both trainers involved did not receive the same treatment from the public for what he believes are equally wrong actions.

"I think that it is something that we should not do on a football field," Girard said at a press conference.

"I regret a little that the behaviour of Huub Stevens is not highlighted. And I think that's unfortunate."

UEFA will decide on Tuesday what punishment Girard will receive.