Stephane Ruffier claims he was 'insulted' by Raon-L'Etape defender

Stephane Ruffier has defended himself after he mocked a player for amateur side Raon-L'Etape on Sunday after St Etienne beat them on penalties in the Coupe de France.

The incident happened at the end of the match as the Ligue 1 side scraped through following a 1-1 draw with their fifth division hosts.

Goalkeeper Ruffier, 29, saved three of the home team's six penalties as St Etienne reached the last 32.

After keeping out the final kick by Wilfried Rother, he was seen shouting at the Raon-L'Etape defender.

Rother said Ruffier had not taken kindly to an attempted joke before the shootout, when it was suggested he should let the home side win.

He accused Ruffier of calling him a "clown" and telling him to watch him play in the Europa League later in the season.

On Monday, Saint-Etienne posted a video on their website in which Ruffier gave his side of the story.

"Before the penalty shootout, this player insulted me," the former France international said. "I think he wanted to destabilise me before an important shootout where qualification was on the line.

"I was in my bubble and I didn't respond. I was concentrated on my work. After the last penalty, the tension settled. And all the insults this player had sent my way resurfaced."

Ruffier said his family had been hurt by the way in which the incident was reported and pointed out that he had given away two jerseys and his gloves to fans at the end of the game.

He also stressed that he had posed for photos and autographs with the home side's supporters before and after the game and during half-time.

"I've been a respectful player on the pitch and off it," Ruffier said. "I have a lot of respect for the amateur world -- I came from it."

In an interview published in L'Equipe on Tuesday, Rother insisted he had only insulted Ruffier after being on the receiving end after his missed penalty.

He praised the attitude of St Etienne's players during the game and also singled out the visiting club's directors, who decided to offer Roen-L'Etape their share of the revenue from the game.