The coach of Russian club FC Rostov has apologised for his remarks about "dark-skinned'' players after some in his team threatened to strike.

Rostov coach Igor Gamula said on Friday the club had "enough dark-skinned players, we've got six of the things'' when asked about rumors Rostov could sign a defender from Cameroon.

According to football agent Paul Mitchell, five African players on the team threatened to sit out Monday's training.

Mitchell is the agent of Rostov defender Siyanda Xulu, a South Africa international.

"(They are) not prepared to train under the current coach,'' Mitchell told The Associated Press.

However, Gamula told Russian agency Tass that he apologised to the team and that all the players had taken part in training.

"I've never divided players into good or bad, foreigners or Russians,'' Gamula said, adding he had been "in shock'' at the reception his comments had received.

"I was deeply worried and didn't sleep for two days. I hadn't wanted to insult or upset anyone.''

Source: Agencies