ISL: Odisha FC axe Stuart Baxter after English coach's offensive comment on refereeing

The head coach had used an analogy about rape to display his displeasure at the standard of referees in the Indian Super League.

By Naveen Peter

A day after Odisha FC’s head coach Stuart Baxter used an offensive analogy about rape to make a point about how his team was suffering due to poor refereeing in the Indian Super League (ISL), the club has parted ways with the Englishman.

Taking to Twitter to announce its move, the club said: “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 67-year-old Baxter was speaking post his side’s 1-0 loss to Jamshedpur FC on Monday, where he blamed the match officials for the defeat.

“You need decisions to go your way and they didn’t,” Baxter, who coached South Africa before making his ISL debut, said.

“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 club was quick to react to this Monday night stating that they will handle the matter internally.

Club owner, Rohan Sharma, too put forth his displeasure on the way the head coach had conducted himself.

“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 off-handed way is reprehensible. I sincerely apologize to everyone on my behalf and the clubs,” Sharma said on Twitter.

After 14 matches, Odisha FC are at the bottom of the ISL points table and will take on ATK Mohun Bagan in their next ISL 2020-21 assignment on Saturday.

Lead image: ISL Media