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No one above football

Opinions / Analysis

FIJI football coach Christophe Gamel is not bigger than the sport and nor is he a sport­ing guardian of the players he coaches.


Gamel is simply a coach and that’s where the buck stops.

If the nature of the allega­tions levelled against him are true, and here I must say, un­less proven, he must step aside for the investigations to take place.

The allegation that he slapped, embarrassed and talked down on both men and women is un­acceptable by any standards.

The coming out of several footballers against the al­leged abuse must be praised.

No one deserves to be belit­tled, called out for being who they’re and what they appear to be.

Gamel’s alleged behavior calls for a fine-tooth comb in­quiry.

Any form of physical and or verbal abuse is simply bully­ing, an exertion of power on the weak and defenseless.

Bullying also inflicts emotional harm.

His alleged action must not be defended and let be known scores of players and officials have had run-ins and I don’t see them exaggerating it.

What Gamel must remember is that his alleged action will not improve performance and build character.

If the positive drug tests got Gamel all worked up then he should have simply played it by the rules, that is to suspend the players.

And on a softer side of it is best to follow the old-school coaching that is through education.

Nowhere during coaching cer­tification, it suggests coaches to get frustrated and resort to dic­tatorial techniques. It only so happens because one lack other tools or pretends to know it all.

Well that is up for challenge.

“Is your job as a coach to domi­nate, or to lead and develop?”

What’s sad about it all, besides the said, is the alleged abuse is said to have happened before team managers and other coach­es and they’re no less accessory.

They too must be called in and investigated.

Of course, most coaches are hard-working, well-meaning and passionate about sports.

Those who do end up bully­ing may simply be frustrated or misguided about athlete development.

But when bully comes into play, we have a responsibility to avoid defending or normalising it.


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