The war of words between Craig Rosslee and Ernst Middendorp after the match between Bloemfontein Celtic and AmaZulu was not good to see.
Coaches are expected to behave in an exemplary manner at all times and they will always be under scrutiny from the fans and the media if they fail to toe the line. For those who missed it, the root cause of the duo’s spat in their respective post-match interviews was Davies Nkausu’s career-threatening tackle on an AmaZulu player.
Rosslee voiced his displeasure at the referee’s decision not to give the Celtic defender a red card and Middendorp retorted by saying Rosslee should “stay at home” if he does not understand that football is a contact sport. Although this is a game of emotions, we expect our coaches to handle themselves better. They need to watch their utterances in public because it could incite the fans and open up a can of worms.
Both coaches are aware that there are channels to follow if grievances are to be aired with, say, a referee’s performance. It’s a gentlemen’s sport, but there was nothing gentlemanly about what happened on Sunday. The referee’s decision is final and you don’t respond to what your colleague said in his post-match interview, no matter how angry it makes you feel.
In fact, it is starting to look like a lot of our coaches need to go for anger management classes, but that is perhaps a story for another day...