Leicester City probe 'racist' Jamie Vardy video
Leicester City will investigate a ''regrettable error in judgement'' by forward Jamie Vardy, after the England international was filmed allegedly using racist language in a casino.
The Sun on Sunday released footage that appears to show him abusing a fellow gambler in a casino and calling him ''Jap'' on three occasions.
In a statement released by Leicester to Press Association Sport, the 28-year-old said: ''I wholeheartedly apologise for any offence I've caused.
''It was a regrettable error in judgement I take full responsibility for and I accept my behaviour was not up to what's expected of me.''
Leicester issued their own response, promising to look into the incident.
''We expect the highest standards from our players on and off the pitch and for them to set an example as role models in our community,'' read a statement.
''We have noted Jamie's apology and will begin a process of investigation into the incident imminently. There will be no further comment until this process has concluded.''
According to the Sun on Sunday, Vardy, who was with his fiancee, Rebekah Nicholson, and teammates David Nugent and Ritchie De Laet, appeared to believe a middle-aged man behind him was looking at his cards during a game of poker at a Leicester casino in the early hours of July 26.
The tabloid reported that Vardy turned his head and yelled "Jap" at the man, before pointing and saying: " Jap. Yo Jap. Walk on. Walk on ... oi, walk on. Yeah you ... Jap. Walk on."
Vardy then had to be physically restrained by De Laet, according to the report.
In June, Leicester terminated the contracts of Tom Hopper, Adam Smith and James Pearson, son of former manager Nigel, for their conduct on a close season tour of Thailand.
The trio had featured in a sexually-explicit video during which racist language was used and were sacked following an internal investigation.
Anti-racism organisation Kick It Out had earlier called on the club to act in relation to the alleged Vardy incident, with director Roisin Wood telling the Sun on Sunday: ''It is disappointing that the opening weekend of the season, which should be a time of celebration, has been overshadowed by these allegations.
''Footballers, no matter the level they play at, are role models on and off the field and their behaviour can impact millions of fans across the country.
''If these allegations are proven, we would consider it to be a serious matter and would expect the club to conduct a swift and thorough investigation. We have contacted the club and await their response.''
Vardy, who opened the scoring for Leicester in their 4-2 opening day victory over Sunderland, was a late bloomer at the highest level.
He was still playing non-league football with Fleetwood as recently as 2012 but made his name following a £1 million move to Leicester.
That made him the most expensive non-league player in history but he soon began repaying the faith of then manager Nigel Pearson.
He netted 16 times as the Foxes won promotion to the Barclays Premier League, then scored five times last year as the team fashioned an unlikely escape.
Vardy was rewarded with a maiden England call-up by Roy Hodgson, making his debut as a second-half substitute in the 0-0 friendly draw against the Republic of Ireland in June.