Matt Le Tissier has stood down from his role as a Southampton ambassador following a backlash over a controversial social media post on the war in Ukraine.
The 53-year-old former Saints and England forward on Tuesday shared a conspiracy theory regarding what appears to be intentional killings of civilians in Bucha and other towns before Russian forces withdrew from the outskirts of Kyiv.
Le Tissier wrote “This” and a pointing-down emoji towards a tweet suggesting the media had “lied”, before deleting the post and seeking to clarify his position by saying “the point was about the media manipulation”.
He posted another update on Wednesday morning to make it “very clear” he does “not advocate war in any way shape or form”, adding he did not “advocate anyone taking lives of others and anyone who commits such acts should be dealt with accordingly “.
Guernsey-born Le Tissier, who played 540 times for Southampton and scored 209 goals, then announced he has decided to “step aside” from his position at St Mary’s.
“To all the fans of SFC. I have decided to step aside from my role as an ambassador of SFC. My views are my own and always have been, and it’s important to take this step today to avoid any confusion,” he wrote.
“This does not affect my relationship with and love for my club, and I will always remain a fan and supporter of everything Saints.
“I can, however, see that due to recent events it’s important to separate the work I believe in from my relationship with the club I have supported and played for most of my life.
“I will see you all at St Mary’s and will always do anything I can to help the club.”