Leeds United: Sneijder apologises for Galatasaray knife tweet

Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder has apologised to Leeds United’s fans after promoting a club-branded knife set that he is endorsing.

Leeds will on today mark 15 years since the deaths of supporters Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, who were stabbed by a Turkish man ahead of their side’s UEFA Cup clash with Galatasaray in April 2000.

A minute’s silence will precede Leeds’ Sky Bet Championship fixture with Blackburn, but United fans were enraged on Saturday morning when Holland international Sneijder tweeted a picture of a Gala-branded knife set which carried his image, saying the item was now “finally” available for sale.

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His Tweet was met with an angry response from Leeds fans and was soon deleted, and Sneijder wrote to one supporter apologising, saying: “@Leedsu1Ross Very sorry. I didn’t know this and deleted our promotion for the merchandise kitchen item. #Respect.”

Ali Umit Demur was jailed for 15 years for the deaths of Loftus and Speight, while four other men were jailed for their part in the attack.

A Leeds spokesman said: “It would be disappointing to see this on any day but especially this weekend when we have a number of tributes planned out of respect for the fans who went to watch their team and never came home.”

The tweet has since been deleted.