A coach in the Indian Super League football competition has been admonished by his club and heavily criticised by fans after using an abhorrent rape analogy to complain about a missed call.
Odisha manager Stuart Baxter said ‘one of my players would have to rape someone or get raped himself’ to earn a whistle from the referee after what he believed was a missed chance to call a penalty consigned the club to a 1-0 loss on Monday.
‘BREATHTAKING’: Fans lose it over 'world class' Liverpool moment
'MUST STOP': Prince William's fury at 'despicable' racial abuse
The 67-year-old manager, who has coached both Finland and South Africa before his turn in the Indian Super League, was furious about the missed penalty call against rivals Jamshedpur.
Baxter made the comments in his post-match press conference, which drew immediate criticism after footage of the interview was posted on social media.
“You need decisions to go your way and they didn’t,” Baxter told Star Sports.
“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.”
— Ranjit Bajaj (@THE_RanjitBajaj) February 1, 2021
Stuart Baxter has to be sacked for his statement. Delighted that @OdishaFC has come out with a statement pretty quickly but can't imagine seeing him on the touchline for the next game.
— Manas Singh (@menacesingh) February 1, 2021
Odisha publicly apologised for Baxter’s comments soon after they were made, saying they were ‘completely unacceptable’ in a statement posted on Twitter.
“The Club is appalled at the comments made by Head Coach, Stuart Baxter during the post-match interview today,” their post read.
“It is completely unacceptable whatever the context and does not reflect the values of the club.
“We, at Odisha FC, unreservedly apologise and the club management will handle this matter internally.”
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.
— Odisha FC (@OdishaFC) February 1, 2021
Chelsea owner promises funds to fight racism
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has written to his players, telling them that he will direct funding towards efforts at eradicating all forms of discrimination after a spate of incidents of online abuse over the last week.
Blues defender Reece James shared vile messages that he had been sent, while Manchester United trio Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were also targeted by racist abuse, along with West Brom's Romaine Sawyers.
Abramovich is understood to have written to each member of the Chelsea men's squad, including James, to express how "appalled" he was by the abuse and his renewed desire to fight it.
"I am appalled by the racist abuse targeted at Reece on social media," the Russian billionaire said.
"Racism has no place in our club nor in our society. Our club is committed to fighting racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.
"We cannot allow this to continue unchecked. I have therefore directed the board to further increase the club's efforts in this area and I will personally direct more funds towards this important work."
He said he wanted Chelsea to "do more to challenge discrimination at our club, in our communities and in the world around us".
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.