Yohan Cabaye denies signing anti-Israel petition

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NEWCASTLE, England (AP) -- France midfielder Yohan Cabaye says he did not sign a footballers' petition protesting against UEFA's choice of Israel as 2013 European Under-21 Championship host.

The Newcastle player was among 62 players who were listed on a petition last Friday supporting Palestinian groups organized by former Tottenham and Sevilla striker Frederic Kanoute.

Cabaye says on his website that he "has never been a signatory" to the campaign which responded to Israel's recent military offensive in Gaza.

Didier Drogba and Eden Hazard were also named beneath a statement on Kanoute's website that Israel was being rewarded "for actions that are contrary to sporting values."

Cabaye says he was called by a teammate and just expressed his "sadness and compassion" for the families of young players who had been killed.