Posted by James Bargent on Aug 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Soccer players defend under-fire coach

The Colombian national soccer team have released a statement declaring their support for scandal-hit coach Hernan Dario Gomez, who resigned after hitting a woman in a Bogota bar.

The players, along with some of the coaching staff, criticized Gomez for his violent behavior but said they wanted him to continue as coach.

The statement said, “the fact of this violence, which we vehemently condemn, hurts us immensely. We know that, being human, he committed a very grave mistake, which he recognised immediately, giving an example of his bravery and his love for Colombia and his family.”

Gomez also has the support of a large part of the population, according to an opinion poll conducted for EL Tiempo and W Radio.

The poll showed 55% of respondents forgave Gomez for his actions, with only 32% refusing to do so. Additionally, 48% disagreed with the coach’s resignation while 46% believed he should remain in charge of the national team.

The poll followed news that the Colombian soccer federation has postponed a final decision on whether to accept Gomez’s resignation until after the Under-20 World Cup, in which Colombia play Mexico in the quarter finals on Saturday.