Stuart Baxter. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Stuart Baxter. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Last-placed Indian Super League (ISL) club Odisha FC have fired their coach‚ former Bafana Bafana boss Stuart Baxter‚ after a bizarre and ill-advised “rape” comment he made in a media conference.

Baxter — known for an ability to put his foot in his mouth in his time in SA‚ where he coached Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United — sparked outrage in India for his comment after his team’s 1-0 defeat to Jamshedpur FC on Monday.

“You need decisions to go your way and they didn’t‚” Baxter  said. “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.”

Odisha on Monday night apologised for the comment‚ tweeting: “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.”

However‚ on Tuesday morning the club also saw fit to release the coach from his contract. Odisha tweeted: “Odisha FC has decided to terminate head coach Stuart Baxter’s contract with immediate effect.”

Odisha are in last place in the ISL having attained just eight points from 14 games — a win‚ five draws and eight defeats.

Baxter joined Odisha in June 2020 after being without a job since quitting his second stint as national coach of SA in August 2019‚ weeks after Bafana reached the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

That was Baxter’s second stint coaching Bafana‚ during which he failed to qualify for two World Cups: Germany 2006 and Russia 2018.

He had more success domestically‚ particularly at Chiefs, where he won two league and cup doubles in three years in 2012/2013 and 2014/2015.


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