Craig Bellamy has temporarily stepped down from his role as Cardiff City Under-18s coach following the club’s decision to investigate a bullying claim against him.
The investigation is taking place after reports of a complaint about the former Wales striker’s alleged treatment of a young player, who has since left the club.
Bellamy has refuted the allegations.
“I categorically refute them,” said Bellamy in a statement.
“I fully expect to return to my coaching role and have sought legal advice as to my position.”
Cardiff City have not yet commented on the allegations or responded to Bellamy’s denial of them.
Bellamy added: “I am aware of allegations that have been made against me via the media.
“I understand the need for Cardiff City to undertake a full investigation in response to these allegations and – at my own suggestion – I have temporarily removed myself from my coaching position in order to cooperate fully with the club’s inquiry.
“Obviously, I am saddened both by the allegations and the manner in which they were made.
“I fully expect to return to my coaching role and have sought legal advice as to my position. I will be making no further comment until the full investigation by the club has concluded.”
Bellamy has been accused of bullying Alfie Madden by the player’s father David, who says he was forced to remove his son from Cardiff’s academy because of Bellamy’s behaviour.
David Madden, who is a former player and lined up for Crystal Palace in the 1990 FA Cup final, has said he wrote to Cardiff to raise his concerns about Bellamy.
Madden says his son Alfie initially enjoyed his time at the club, but when Bellamy arrived as U18s coach, it was like “someone flicked a switch”.
He also accused Bellamy of favouring Welsh players because of their nationality, and says that during a meeting with the club to discuss the allegations, Bellamy acted like a “naughty schoolboy” and appeared disinterested.
Alfie Madden joined West Ham when he left Cardiff, and has since moved to the USA after winning a university football scholarship.
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