Coach Calls Igbo Nigerian Player “Black Idiot” For Celebrating A Goal

KayCee
By KayCee April 13, 2016 13:25

A Nigerian in faraway Slovenia was a subject of racial abuse from his coach for over celebrating in a game

But despite being called a black idiot by his coach Marko Nikolic, Olimpija Ljubljana’s Nigerian forward Blessing Eleke says his religious background was a major influence in talking the club president Milan Mandaric out of sacking the Serbian.

Speaking to Completesportsnigeria.com, Eleke said he felt extremely bitter and pondered quitting the club after his coach Marko Nikolic called him a ‘black idiot’ in their 1-1 draw against Zavrc on Sunday, April 10.

The 20-year-old was slammed by his coach for celebrating too long after levelling for the Slovenian league leaders at home to Zavrc.

But according to him, he doesn’t believe in the saying “an eye for an eye”.

Eleke who cost Olimpija Ljubljana €750,000 from Nova Gorica in January said: “I considered so many things after the incident and I wanted to leave the club. But then there were rumours that the coach was on the verge of being sacked, but I don’t believe in an eye for an eye.

“Sometimes it’s better to just be calm and focused because when everybody is in support of you have to be cool too.

“I didn’t want to be involved his exit at the club so I played my part and we all are fine now.

“I have a goal to achieve and I won’t allow what happened deter my ambition as I’m a professional employed to score goals.

“Winning the league is my priority and that’s why I joined the club.”

Capture-eleke

Reacting shortly after, Marko Nikolac, apologized to Eleke for fear of losing his job after he racially abused him.

Marko Nikolac said his remarks about Eleke were not racist as he only wanted his team to conserve time and try to score a winning goal as they aim to reach the championship playoffs.

He said he was very angry when he saw Eleke ‘over celebrating’ after the Nigerian scored a leveller for Olimpija on Sunday, April 10.

He said: “I wish to apologise to the to everyone – the President, the Sports Director, Blessing Eleke and finally all fans of Olimpija for an inadvertent remark, which when heard again on television later sounded very distasteful and worthy of condemnation.

“My only wish was that after the equaliser on 92 minutes, we should try to get the winning goal. My target is to reach the national championship playoffs and go on to win the championship. I would like to thank all the team for understanding that my remarks were not meant to be racist.”

On his part, the club president Milan Mandaric said: “The remarks of our coach were not racially motivated. He just wanted to win the game,” he defended. We are all focused on qualifying for the championship playoffs and going on to win the league.”  

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KayCee
By KayCee April 13, 2016 13:25