Indian Super League side Odisha on Tuesday morning parted ways with their coach Stuart Baxter with “immediate effect”.
The former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs tactician was shown the door after making shocking “rape” remarks during his post-match interview on Monday.
Odisha was not happy with Baxter and had initially issued a statement, condemning their coach for his distasteful comments after his side went down 1-0 to Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League. But the club has since decided to relieve Baxter of his duties.
“Odisha FC has decided to terminate head coach, Stuart Baxter’s contract with immediate effect. The interim coach for the remainder of the season will be announced soon,” the club said in a statement.
Baxter was not particularly pleased with the referee’s decision to turn down Odisha’s calls for a late penalty claim as Diego Mauricio was tripped in the area by TP Rehenesh.
He sparked an outrage in India after suggesting that one of his players ‘got to rape someone’ or ‘get raped’ in order to be awarded a penalty by the officials.
“You need decisions to go your way and they didn’t,” said Baxter in a post-match interview on Indian’s Star Sports television.
“I don’t know when we’re going to get a penalty. I think one of my players would have to rape someone or get raped himself if he was going to get a penalty.”
The Indian club made it clear that they are “appalled” at the comments made by Baxter. “It is completely unacceptable whatever the context and does not reflect the values of the club,” said Odisha.
“We, at Odisha FC, unreservedly apologise and the club management will handle this matter internally.”
Odisha are bottom of the Super League table with eight points from 14 matches and haven’t been on the winning side in their last five games. Their last victory was a 4-2 mauling of Kerala blasters last month.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
all pictures courtesy of Odisha