Customers, some wearing face masks or coverings as a precaution against COVID-19, queue to enter the H&M clothing store inside the Westfield indoor shopping centre in west Shepherds Bush, west of London on June 15, 2020 as some non-essential retailers reopen from their coronavirus shutdown. - Various stores and outdoor attractions in England are set to open Monday for the first time in nearly three months, as the government continues to ease its coronavirus lockdown. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

ISL’s Odisha sack coach Baxter for ‘unacceptable’ rape comment

Indian Super League side Odisha FC on Tuesday sacked its head coach Stuart Baxter for making an unsavoury comment on rape to criticise a refereeing decision after the team”s loss to Jamshedpur FC.

The club also issued a public apology after the Englishman suggested one of his players “will have to rape someone or be raped” to get a penalty after the 0-1 loss to Jamshedpur FC in Bambolim, Goa on Monday.

“Odisha FC has decided to terminate Head Coach Stuart Baxter’s contract with immediate effect. Interim Coach for the remainder of the season will be announced soon,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

Odisha FC lost a tightly-contested match, leaving Baxter displeased by the refereeing. Odisha made a late penalty claim after Diego Mauricio was tripped by TP Rehenesh in the penalty area but it was turned down by the referee.

“You need decisions to go your way, and they didn’t. I don’t know when we are going to get our penalty. One of my players will have to rape someone or get raped himself if he was going to get a penalty…,” Baxter said in the post-match interview.

The club quickly issued a statement apologising for Baxter’s comments, stressing that the 67-year-old’s views do not reflect its values.

“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,” the club had tweeted on Monday.

“We, at Odisha FC, unreservedly apologize and the club management will handle this matter internally,” it added.

Odisha are languishing at the bottom of the 11-team table in the league after managing just one win from 14 matches and enduring eight losses.

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