- Racism has no place in the world, not only football, says Steve Komphela.
The SA Football Association (Safa) intends to report Luc Eymael to sports minister Nathi Mthethwa‚ world governing body Fifa and continental body CAF so that the controversial Belgian coach never works in SA again.
Eymael was fired with immediate effect on Monday by Tanzania Premier League side Yanga Africans for calling the club’s fans “illiterate” and “monkeys”.
Safa said on Wednesday they are in solidarity with the Tanzania FA and Yanga Africans.
“Our own history‚ principles and beliefs compel us to reject racism in all its forms,” Safa said in a statement. “This conduct militates against Nelson Mandela’s understanding of the role of sport in our society that it has the power to change the world‚ power to inspire and unite people in a way that little else does,” it noted.
Safa will write a letter to the minister of sport to bring this matter to his attention‚ and also to raise objection to any consideration of granting coach Eymael a work permit in SA in future.
“SA football has moved from the history of a divided past of having various national football bodies formed on racial lines under apartheid to a single non-racial united association‚” the Safa statement said.
Eymael joined Free State Stars in 2017, taking over from Sammy Troughton. In April 2018, he guided Ea Lla Koto to their first cup final in 24 years after beating Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 in the Nedbank Cup semifinal, before taking them to a memorable first title win later that year.
However, the master tactician as Eymael was often referred to, is not new to controversy.
Golden Arrows head coach Steve Komphela has also called on Premier League (PSL) not to hire Eymael, referring to him as disrespectful.
Speaking to the Free State Weekly, Komphela said, “From time to time, it’s pleasing when your views about a certain topic or person are validated. But in this case, it’s not even amusing.”
He indicated: “Racism has no place in the world, not only football. Therefore when you see and hear people who are in a position of power/or responsibility advocating for the dehumanisation of other human beings it’s not only sad, or painful – it’s disgraceful.”
The Former Bloemfontein Celtic coach’s remarks come as no shock, with the pair having previously been at each other’s throats as far back as 2018 after Eyamael won the Nedbank Cup and going on to take a dig at Komphela for having failed to win a trophy since his tenure as a coach.
Komphela called on the league to ban the Belgian coach for disrespect conduct.
Yanga Africans earlier issued a strongly-worded statement in response to the discriminatory and racist comments made by Eymael and said he must leave the East African country.
“The Yanga Club leadership is saddened by the rude and discriminatory statements made by its coach, Luc Eymael, and spread on social media‚” the Tanzanian club said.
“Some of those statements by coach Luc Eymael include accusing the fans that they have no education‚ the people in this country are stupid‚ the fans do not know football … their job is to shout like monkeys and ducks‚ club leaders are zero and the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF) exists only for Lions.
“Due to these racist statements‚ the Yanga Club leadership has decided to fire Eymael and ensure he leaves the country as soon as possible,” the team noted.
Yanga Africans management also apologised to the country’s leadership and public.
Eymael has reportedly apologised for his comments but it remains to be seen if he will be offered a coaching job on the continent again after this outburst.
The controversial mentor also coached Leopards‚ Bloemfontein Celtic and Polokwane City during his time in South Africa.