Darts: Taylor says sorry after Van Barneveld spat
PHIL "The Power" Taylor has claimed a painful tug on his arm from semi-final rival Raymond van Barneveld was behind their on-stage spat at the Alexandra Palace.
The pair exchanged words at the end of Taylor's 6-4 victory on Sunday night after first shaking hands.
Taylor yesterday claimed to have contacted the Dutchman to apologise for the incident after saying he had been pulled off-balance by Van Barneveld's post-match handshake, although the Dutchman was said to still be fuming last night.
"I'm over the moon to be in the final, but I'm disappointed with my behaviour at the end of the game," said Taylor.
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"Raymond's a big lad and he has a strong handshake, and when he pulled me it hurt me.
"I reacted wrongly and I'm ashamed of that because I really like Raymond. I'm gutted about what happened.
"It's upset a lot of people and it's also upset me. I've contacted Raymond to apologise to him and hopefully we can put it behind us now.
"I'm very close to Raymond, he's a great competitor and it was something that happened in the heat of the moment.
"But whatever the PDC decide – even if they chuck the book at me – they can do whatever they want to do. To be honest, I'm a bit disillusioned about everything right now. I'm not feeling very well and I need a break.
"I don't care about darts at the minute. I know I'm in the final, but I don't feel excited about it. I feel very, very down."
Taylor had also been keen to play down the incident immediately after the victory.
"Nothing went on," he said during a post-match interview.
"None of us wanted to lose that. Raymond was brilliant there. He stuck in there.
"I told him backstage, 'There's nobody in this room who's a bigger fan of you than I am'.
"We're not going to fall out about anything. It's forgotten. It's done."
However, the Dutch media claimed that was not the way Van Barneveld saw things.
He told them: "I've not talked to Phil, just received a text message from him.
"He apologised for his improper behaviour, but I do not know if I'm going to respond.
"The emotions are still running high. And, of course, I hope Michael wins the final.
"I just tried to congratulate him in a sporting manner when he pushed me away.
"I just wanted to hug him, but he swore at me. I don't understand his reaction at all."