Odisha FC sack coach Stuart Baxter after his distasteful comments
Indian Super League (ISL) club Odisha FC have decided to terminate the contract of head coach Stuart Baxter with immediate effect.
In a club statement, Odisha further added that they will announce an interim coach for the remainder of the season.
The decision comes a day after the Juggernauts had to issue a public apology for the experienced coach’s offensive comments after a 0-1 loss to Jamshedpur FC on Monday.
Odisha had a late penalty claim turned down by the referee when Diego Mauricio was brought down by Jamshedpur goalkeeper TP Rehenesh.
Baxter sparked massive outrage on social media after suggesting that one of his players ‘got to rape someone’ or ‘get raped’ to be awarded a penalty by the officials.
The club soon issued a statement apologizing for Baxter's comments and stated, “The Club is appalled at the comments made by Head Coach, Stuart Baxter during the post-match interview today. It is completely unacceptable whatever the context and does not reflect the values of the club.”
"We, at Odisha FC, unreservedly apologize and the club management will handle this matter internally," they added in another tweet.
Meanwhile, club owner Rohan Sharma also took to Twitter to apologize for the shocking statements made by their head coach.
"I am absolutely disgusted and infuriated by the comments. I've said Odisha FC is a safe space for all, and to make light of a serious awful crime in such an offhanded way is reprehensible.
"I sincerely apologize to everyone on my behalf and the club's. Please be rest assured I am not going to take this matter lightly," he said.
Bottom-placed Odisha FC have struggled throughout the ongoing ISL 2020-21 season, securing just one win in 14 matches. The Kalinga Warriors have just eight points in those matches and they are almost out of the playoff race.
Feature image courtesy: 2021 Indian Super League