Coach of French club Angers resigns after sexist comments
ANGERS, France (AP) — Angers coach Abdel Bouhazama resigned after making sexist comments, the last-placed French league club said on Tuesday.
Bouhazama reportedly made inappropriate comments while addressing the situation of a player accused of unwanted sexual touching. This was in the buildup to losing 5-0 to Montpellier on Sunday.
Angers insisted Bouhazama thought about resigning before the comments became public.
“A controversy arose on Monday after comments, taken out of context, held during the pre-game talk, were leaked to the local and national press,” Angers said in a statement. “Faced with media pressure, and to preserve the image of the club and the serenity of the locker room, Abdel Bouhazama announced to president Said Chabane that he had decided to leave his position as coach of the professional team.”
Angers condemned Bouhazama's remarks.
“The club does not accept any form of discrimination and condemns sexism and misogyny,” it said. “Abdel Bouhazama has apologized to his colleagues, especially women, and has therefore preferred to draw the consequences of both his record and his blunders.”
Bouhazama replaced Gerard Baticle in December, and managed nine losses and two draws.
Angers has only 10 points from 26 games in the league and sits in last place, 12 points from safety.
According to L'Equipe newspaper, quoting an unidentified player, Bouhazama said “it's not bad, we have all touched girls,” as he tried to justify giving a starting role to left-back Ilyes Chetti. L'Equipe said this description was confirmed by other people who attended the scene.
Local newspaper Ouest France reported earlier this month that Chetti is being prosecuted for acts of sexual assault after he allegedly touched a woman during a party in a nightclub in Angers during the World Cup break last year.
L’Equipe reported that it spoke with Bouhazama, who admitted making the comments but that they were intended to boost his player’s morale.
“I also say that what was done by the player is not good,” he was quoted as saying. “But I also say that we all made mistakes or stupidities. Who has not made a mistake like Ilyes? That’s it. I do not support his gesture, I am a father, I have two daughters. As my player was going to play, it was to put him in good conditions, so that we de-dramatize."
Three years ago, Chabane was questioned by police about allegations he sexually assaulted an employee.
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The Associated Press