Toffees downplay banana element to Diouf race row

EVERTON have hit back at allegations from Blackburn striker El-Hadji Diouf that he was pelted with bananas at Goodison Park on Sunday. <br /><br />Merseyside police are investigating an alleged racist spat between the Senegal international and a teenage ball-boy during Everton&rsquo;s win. <br /><br />Diouf told police after the final whistle that bananas were thrown at him from the Everton crowd but the club has countered the claims. <br /><br />&ldquo;Our only concern is a child protection matter involving a 14-year-old boy,&rdquo; said an Everton spokesman. &ldquo;We have spoken to the police and have been told that is the only investigation they are concerned with and that they are not investigating the behaviour of any Everton supporter.&rdquo; <br /><br />Officers searched the area for bananas, but none are thought to have been found. Diouf, once of Everton&rsquo;s city rivals Liverpool, strongly denied any racist remarks. <br /><br />&ldquo;I have had other problems, with spitting or fights &ndash; but not with racism,&rdquo;he said. &ldquo;I can understand that they don&rsquo;t like me at Everton, but to say that I uttered racist words towards a child is nonsense.&rdquo;