‘One of my players would have to get raped’: Brit coach sacked by Indian Super League club after bizarre post-match comments
Indian Super League team Odisha FC have sacked coach Stuart Baxter after he made a bizarre analogy claiming his players “would have to rape or get raped” in order to win a penalty.
Speaking on the referee’s performance after Odisha’s 1-0 defeat to Jamshedpur on Monday, Baxter said: “You need decisions to go your way and they didn’t.
“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 comments by the 67-year-old were immediately picked up online and earned widespread condemnation.
After Odisha said they were “appalled” by the “completely unacceptable” remarks, the club announced on Tuesday that it had fired Baxter.
“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,” read a tweet from the club, who lie bottom of the Super League table.
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.#OdishaFCpic.twitter.com/FcrMPCDn5h— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) February 2, 2021
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.Continued... pic.twitter.com/Egkzi5EU9H— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) February 1, 2021
We, at Odisha FC, unreservedly apologize and the club management will handle this matter internally.#OdishaFC— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) February 1, 2021
The decision was met with widespread praise from fans – some of whom claimed it was the "worst thing said by a coach on TV."
Good decision. Can’t remember hearing anything worse said by a coach on TV. https://t.co/alI8dJxOnd— Akarsh Sharma (@Akarsh_Official) February 2, 2021
Head coach Stuart Baxter has been sacked by Odisha FC after he made this remark: "...One of my players would have to rape or get raped in the box to get a penalty." Belittling sexual assault is unacceptable. A crass remark like that deserved consequences. https://t.co/RwOeplT9di— Manasi Pathak (@ThatUnitedLady) February 2, 2021
Others, however, were more understanding, claiming that Baxter had been right to call out the refereeing standards, but merely used clumsy and inappropriate language to do so.
Excellent decision. So the thing we should understand from this is that Nobody should react against Bad refereeing or he's gonna get fired.....Nice one Odisha 👏👏👏👏 Keep it up. I don't support Stuart's words, but what he meant by that is completely right 😤#ISupportBaxter— Arjun Nair (@ArjunNa66194377) February 2, 2021
Baxter is a former journeyman footballer who spent part of his career at Preston North End before moving on to clubs in Scotland, Sweden, Australia and the US.
His coaching career has been equally peripatetic, with spells in Scandinavia as well as Japan and South Africa.
Baxter has had two spells as coach of the South African national team, from 2004 to 2005 and from 2017 to 2019. He has also coached the England Under-19s team.