By Robson Sharuko
Belgian gaffer, Luc Eymael, who once showed interest to coach the Warriors, has been fired from his job in Tanzania after describing his club’s fans as “stupid’’ people who behaved like “monkeys.’’
The Tanzania Football Federation have also instituted disciplinary proceedings against him, after his shocking racist rant, and have promised to report him to FIFA.
The 60-year-old coach was yesterday dismissed from his job as coach of Tanzanian giants, Young Africans, following a racist outburst which has sent shockwaves across the continent.
Eymael was one of the coaches who angled for the Warriors job before ZIFA settled on Croatian gaffer, Zdravko Logarusic, in January this year.
The Croat signed a two-year contract.
ZIFA officials must be relieved they didn’t engage the Belgian, whose quest to become the Warriors’ gaffer, was being backed by some agents based in South Africa.
Matters came to a head for Eymael last week after his team, which has been home to Zimbabwean players — Thabani Kamusoko and Donald Ngoma in recent years — were held to a 1-1 draw by Mtibwa Sugar.
“The fans can be stupid in this country, they can only shout “babababa,” Eymael was quoted by the Tanzanian 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.
“I am not enjoying your country, you are uneducated people. I don’t have a car, what is that? I do not have wi-fi and I do not have DStv. No, no, no!”
The coach said his wife was not comfortable with staying in Tanzania and his family wanted to leave the country.
“My wife is absolutely not enjoying here and this is disgusting to me, I am disgusted,” he said.
“The only pleasure that I have is the pitches are always full when we are playing, full of our fans, but working in these conditions is not for me.
“I do not want to stay here. I would prefer that they release me let me just do my last game and let me go.”
The Belgian, who had seen his club slip 16 points behind Simba, also slammed Tanzanian referees, accusing them of allegedly always favouring their bitter rivals.
“You know, (the) officiating was always against us and (was) only favouring Simba, not giving us even a clear penalty,” he complained.
“Things like that are not for me.
“I said to the sponsor — do your own things and you cannot be able to win the league because you are not an organised team, you are not an organised club.
“The officiating is always against you because you are a poor club.”
However, amid the storm created by his shocking comments, Eymael later tried to retract his comments.
He claimed frustration had led him to make the ill-timed remarks.
“I want to sincerely apologise to the people of Tanzania, Yanga leaders, supporters and sponsors about the podcast that came out,” he wrote 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.”
Interestingly, in March, the coach was full of praise for the Young African fans.
“It is like in Europe if you ask me, most Yanga fans are wearing the club jerseys and they all like their club very much,” he told Goal.com.
“I have coached in Sudan and South Africa and even DR Congo but there is a huge difference on how Tanzanian fans support their teams, they are passionate and can do anything to make sure their team performs, they are always good even when you lose.’’
Yesterday, Young Africans sacked the Belgian coach.
“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,” the club, who have won the league championship 27-times, said in a statement released by their acting secretary-general, Simon Patrick.
“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 management apologises to the country’s leaders, Tanzania Football Federation, members, Yanga fans and the citizens in general for the disgusting and demeaning remarks by coach Luc Eymael.
“Yanga SC values and believe in pillars of discipline and humanity, and is against any form of racism.”
A 1-4 thrashing at the hands of Simba, in the main knock-out tournament in Tanzania, had already dent his relationship with the Young African fans.
The TTF also promised to take disciplinary action.
“TFF will take disciplinary action against (former) Yanga SC coach Luc Eymael and initiate legal proceedings against him in respective authorities following racist remarks made on the team’s fans,” read a statement.
“TFF will also communicate the same to the World Football Governing Body (FIFA) on the racist remarks made, hoping action will be made to ensure the coach does not repeat the same wherever he goes.”
The Belgian, who has been working in Africa for the past decade, arrived at Young Africans in January.
His first job on the continent was when he was appointed the coach of Congolese giants, AS Vita, in 2010 and charmed his employers by leading the club to the championship in his debut season.
He also guided them on a 23-match unbeaten run and this ultimately proved too much for the other giants of Congolese football, TP Mazembe, with AS Vita being crowned champions. The Herald