New Delhi: Indian Super League (ISL) side Odisha FC sacked Tuesday their head coach Stuart Baxter. He had made an unsavoury comment on rape to criticise a refereeing decision after the team’s loss Monday to Jamshedpur FC. It was comment that was not expected from Stuart Baxter. Odisha FC also issued a public apology after the Englishman suggested one of his players ‘will have to rape someone or be raped’ to get a penalty after the 0-1 loss to Jamshedpur FC.
“Odisha FC has decided to terminate head coach Stuart Baxter’s contract with immediate effect. Interim coach for the remainder of the season will be announced soon,” the club said in a statement Tuesday.
Odisha FC lost a tightly-contested match. It left Baxter unhappy with the refereeing. Odisha made a late penalty claim after Diego Mauricio was tripped by TP Rehenesh in the penalty area. However, it was turned down by the referee.
“You need decisions to go your way, and they didn’t. I don’t know when we are going to get our penalty. One of my players will have to rape someone or get raped himself if he was going to get a penalty,” Baxter said in the post-match interview.
The club quickly issued a statement apologising for Baxter’s comments. Odisha FC stressed that the 67-year-old’s views do not reflect their values.
“The club is appalled at the comments made by head coach, Stuart Baxter during the post-match interview today (Monday). It is completely unacceptable whatever the context and does not reflect the values of the club,” the club had tweeted, Monday. “We, at Odisha FC, unreservedly apologise and the club management will handle this matter internally,” the club added.
Odisha are languishing at the bottom of the 11-team table in the league after managing just one win from 14 matches. They have suffered eight losses.