London – West Ham United on Tuesday denied reports that injured striker Andy Carroll assaulted a photographer during a night out in Dublin over the weekend.
The England international, 23, was interviewed by Irish police over an incident that allegedly occurred on Sunday night.
West Ham's players were in Dublin for their Christmas party and were also celebrating their 3-1 Premier League win over Chelsea on Saturday.
“Andy Carroll was in Dublin as part of a social trip with full permission of the management team,” the club said.
“Andy agreed to have a number of pictures taken at the request of a photographer who was waiting on the street.
“Despite this, the photographer then carried on taking photos in the close proximity of Andy and was politely asked to stop by the private security team working on the trip.
“When he then continued taking more photos he was restrained by the security team for Andy's safety.
“Eyewitnesses state at no point was there any physical contact between Andy and the photographer.”
An Irish police spokesman said officers received a report of an incident in the early hours of Monday morning, with a press photographer claiming he had been assaulted in the capital's main shopping district, Grafton Street.
Police in Dublin are believed to be investigating the incident and West Ham confirmed that officers took statements from some of Carroll's team-mates, but no arrests were made. Carroll denies any wrongdoing.
The former Newcastle United striker is on a season-long loan from Liverpool but was recently ruled out for eight weeks with a knee injury. – Sapa-AFP