Football

Red Card! Fiji’s Football Coach Sent Off During Match Against Tahiti

Under FIFA law, Fiji’s French coach will be suspended for the national side’s second match against hosts Vanuatu today at 6PM (Fiji time).
10 Jun 2019 13:29
Red Card! Fiji’s Football Coach Sent Off During Match Against Tahiti
Vodafone Fijian national football coach Christophe Gamel was red-carded for arguing with match officials.

Vodafone Fijian national football coach Christophe Gamel was red carded for arguing with match officials in the team’s 1-1 draw against Tahiti in Port Vila, Vanuatu, last Friday.

Behind 1-0, the Fijians were denied a penalty appeal in the second-half prompting Gamel to have a go at referee Nawen Hopkins, who was forced to send the Fijian coach off.

Hopkins, a FIFA badge holder, is one of Vanuatu’s leading referees, having officiated internationally since 2014.

Under FIFA law, Fiji’s French coach will be suspended for the national side’s second match against hosts Vanuatu today at 6PM (Fiji time).

Women’s team head coach Marika Rodu is likely to stand in as his replacement. The match was part of the FIFA Tri-Nations international friendly series at Port Vila’s Korman Stadium.

The Fiji Football Association website also reported that Gamel argued with match officials and was sent off from the bench.

A video of the red card incident was posted on Facebook by a page named “Vanuatu Sport”.

It was viewed nearly 5000 times and shared widely across Fijian pages.

One commentator, Richard James, on the page Fiji Football News wrote: “If the coach doesn’t have discipline then how can he keep the players disciplined.”

In January, national youth and women footballers accused Gamel of allegedly assaulting and demeaning them.

Under-23 male players Amena Bola, Kini Madigi, Simione Nabenu, Kalaveti Sivoi and Sekove Finau claimed Gamel assaulted them on January 16 after they allegedly failed a drug test.

Three national women’s team players, who spoke to the Fiji Sun on the condition of anonymity, also alleged the coach demeaned and mocked them for their looks last year.

However, a Fiji Football Association inquiry in which president Rajesh Patel was heavily involved cleared the coach of any wrongdoing.

The claims by the female players were not investigated.

The findings of the inquiry were rejected by Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre co-ordinator Shamima Ali and Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher Roshika Deo, with both calling for an independent investigation.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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