July 27 – Tanzanian top tier club Young Africans SC dismissed their Belgian head coach Luc Eymael (pictured) with immediate effect after he described the club’s fans as dogs and monkeys.
The Belgian, 60, had arrived in East Africa with pomp and circumstance despite his limited track record, but a controversial rant after Young Africans failed to hold on to their runners-up spot in the Tanzanian league has come back to haunt him.
“The fans can be stupid in this country, they can only shout,” said Eymael as quoted by local media. “It’s like monkeys, you know monkeys will make monkey noise, they can only do that. They don’t know anything about football.
“Playing on such kind of pitches for the level of 7 or 8 division in Europe is not for me. Changing rooms like that are not for me.”
He added: “I don’t have a car, what is that? I don’t have wifi, I don’t have the DSTV, no, no, no.
“Working with these conditions is not for me, my man. My wife is not enjoying here, she is disgusted, and me. I am disgusted. The only pleasure I have is because the [grounds] are full [during match days] but these fans don’t know anything about soccer.”
He also suggested that officiating in in Tanzania benefited rival club Simba in Dar Es Salaam. The Belgian coach reportedly also asked to be released by his club.
“You know with officiating is always against [Yanga] and favouring Simba and not giving us clear penalties,” said Eymael. “Stuff like that is not for me.
“I asked them again to release me, I asked them: ‘Please let me do my last game and let me go. I prefer to go, I am not enjoying your country, you are uneducated people’.”
Predictably, the club directors were livid with Eymael’s comments and fired him with immediate effect. “Yanga management has been saddened by inhumane and racist remarks made by coach Luc Eymael and reported by several media outlets as well as social media,” said the 27-time-league champions said in a statement. “Owing to those unsporting remarks, Yanga management has decided to fire Luc Eymael effective today, Monday, July 27 and will ensure he leaves the country as soon as possible.”
The club also apologised to respective authorities for the remarks made by the 60-year-old. “The management apologises to the country’s leaders, Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), members, Yanga fans and the citizens in general for the disgusting and demeaning remarks by coach Luc Eymael,” said the Young Africans. “Yanga SC values and believe in pillars of discipline and humanity, and is against any form of racism.”
Eymael then apologised on social media for his comments, citing that frustration had led to his remarks. “I want to sincerely apologise to the people of Tanzania, Yanga leaders, supporters and sponsors about the podcast that came out,” wrote Eymael on Facebook. “Those are not the words of Luc Eymael but of pure frustration and disappointment and emotions that made us lose our second place.”
Contact the write of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1634933517labto1634933517ofdlr1634933517owedi1634933517sni@o1634933517fni1634933517