Tanzanian giants Yanga SC coach Luc Eymael has accused a match official of racism during their 1-0 loss to title-chasing Azam FC.
The former AFC Leopards coach made the comment in an angry post-match press conference after suffering his second loss in two matches since taking over the reins.
According to the Belgian, the centre referee Hans Mabena refused to shake his hand after showing him a yellow card for touchline dissent. Eymael was protesting the sending off of defender Ally Mtoni Sonso.
In an interview with Futaa, Eymael claimed that he was apologising for the dissent but centre referee was having none of that. He added that Mabena refusing to shake his hand amounted to racism.
I m fully sad for what happened yesterday , when somebody to who you present your hand to say excuse me , is responding you looking in your face I don t want to shake your hand . And when these 2 peoples are from different continents.....seriously what will you think or feel?— Luc eymael (@EymaelLuc) January 19, 2020
"There was a hard tackle on my player just in front of the linesman. Unfortunately, my player reacted and the referee gave him a red card. You are punishing the reaction and not the provocation. I said to the referee that the red card was okay but why wasn't he punishing the dangerous tackle," he said.
The referee then gave me a yellow card, I apologised and extended my hand but he turned the handshake down. I felt offended and I feel that is racism. What if it was me who had refused to shake his hand? This is not a good example of all the things happening around the world."
The coach who has had stints in Gabon, South Africa and Egypt said that he is fully focused on turning around Yanga's fortune.
"Yanga is a big team and a big brand. We are working on transforming the team and it takes time. I have just had a week with the team and we're developing a good brand of football. It will take time but I understand the reaction and pressure from the fans," he added.
He, however, feels that it's up to the Tanzania Football Federation to decide if they can take action on the referee.
"I'm just a human being and football is full emotions. I should not have gone to that press conference since I was upset by the referee. I can't say what action the federation should take but that was not a good thing," he said.
The defeat leaves Yanga languishing in the eighth position with 25 points after 14 rounds while Azam moved to the second position with 32 points from 15 matches.
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