PUNE: FC Pune City’s head coach Ranko Popovic seems to have developed the knack of offending the All India Football Federation Disciplinary Committee whose Chairman Ushanath Banerjee finds every word spoken by the Serbian as offensive and abusive.
Popovic on Friday was suspended with immediate effect pending further inquiry for apparently committing third breach during this season, but one fails to find any abusive word in the transcript of his pre-match interview with the mediapersons before first leg semifinal against Bengaluru FC.
However, the AIFF Disciplinary Committee has held him guilty after reviewing the ‘public comments’ made by the coach. Banerjee, who issued the sanction order insisted Popovic used abusive language against referee and match officials.
“Having considered the utterances against the decisions of the Referee and the Match Officials, it prima facie appears that Ranko Popovic has breached the disciplinary code and the law of the game with impunity amounting to gross misconduct,” Banerjee stated in a communication to the club.
During his long-winding interview, besides speaking on many other topics, Popovic had only said that he would like to be “on the bench tomorrow”.
“Don’t ask me too much, please because then I may say something that they don’t like. Actually, I don’t know what they like and what they don’t like,” Popovic said, which may have stirred the AIFF Disciplinary Committee.
Popovic was held guilty of abusing and insulting match officials and was slapped with sanctions on an earlier occasion as well.
“But even after that, he continued with his obdurate acts resulting in a warning,” the AIFF said in a statement.
Popovic has been served a show cause notice and he has to reply within March 9 and appear for a hearing before the committee on March 16 at the AIFF headquarters in New Delhi.
“They never played football, they did not feel the football the same way how we feel football. And also they have one other job, I don’t have reserve job. I have this job to teach my boys? He cannot lose his job because of my mistake, I can lose my job because of his mistake. If you know this, it’s I think very good base to think who deserves a more respect,” is how Popovic elaborated, which the AIFF found offensive.
TRANSCRIPT OF RANKO POPOVIC’S ANSWER WHEN ASKED ABOUT THE MATCH OFFICIALS
Q: The Standard of referring has been a talking point...
Ranko: I want to be on the bench tomorrow, don’t ask me too much, please because then I may say something that they don’t like. Actually, I don’t know what they like and what they don’t like.
Q: You try to control your emotions because your presence near the touchline has always been full of emotions.
Ranko: Look, I try always to control my emotions but I cannot understand you know, how they cannot control something that is normal, to know the rules. One game something is penalty other game something is not a penalty. Other game is so and so...
After it is like this, I respect a lot of these people and everyone who is in our locker-room knows how I am working with the guys to try, and for them to have respect about the referees. Always.
But you cannot control an honest emotion. But you never saw FC Pune City’s 5-6 players to come to push referee on the field. Did you see something like this?
We respect them more than every other team. Only what we want is them to have little more respect, because I think they are afraid when someone makes this kind of pressure and after come and tell to the coach.
Like we had in a game against Kerala, Vinay asks him something, but he didn’t hear me and after he put something that was not the truth, this not the way we have to communicate it.
I don’t have any problem if I say to you some bad word I will repeat tomorrow If you deserve my apology I will tell you, “Yes it was a moment I am very sorry (about) and I feel that. okay, but I never lie.”
I have (am) 51 years and 40 years in football. I played my first game when I was 11. I don’t know if every referee has 40 years of age. and I have (40 years) of experience.
A little bit more respect about all these things. They are human, they can make mistakes like everyone. If they want to be better they have to have the games, but they have to learn and hear also sometimes what we said to them say because from this they can learn also. This is the experience.