Warriors get tough with coach Steinebrunner over rant
After angry outburst, fate of Warriors' coach depends on FAS action
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has yet to haul him up following his outburst against the referee in Warriors FC's 4-2 defeat to Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium last Saturday, but Jorg Steinebrunner may not have much more time left as coach of the most successful club in the 21-year history of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League.
The management of the nine-time league champions has revealed that there is a possibility that a new coach will be appointed, depending on what action FAS takes against the 44-year-old German.
"If he is suspended, it'll depend on the duration, but if it does happen, we'll have to look for a new coach," Warriors' general manager Paul Poh told The New Paper yesterday.
"(Steinebrunner) has apologised to the club in an e-mail, but in this case, we cannot support him. I wanted to cut short the media conference - he knew that - and he will have to bear the consequences."
Former Geylang International coach Steinebrunner lambasted referee Farhad Mohamad for the latter's decision to award a contentious 50th-minute penalty and red card for Warriors' goalkeeper Yazid Yasin during the match.
Warriors were 2-1 up at that point, but went on to lose 4-2, with an irate Steinebrunner letting loose at the post-match press conference.
He said then: "I am absolutely p*****. How many years has he (Farhad) refereed already?
"With this standard, you can't even be a referee in the 10th division of countries in Europe. We should be happy if we can open the doors for a professional player. It's a f****** disgrace what is happening here."
Steinebrunner left Geylang to join the Warriors last December as one half of a coaching tandem alongside Moroccan Karim Bencherifa, in a unique move by the army side.
The German took sole charge about a month later after Bencherifa left due to personal reasons.
Last night, the Warriors posted on their Facebook page that they do not "condone such behaviour" from their coaches or players and revealed that Steinebrunner has been given an official warning for his "unbecoming behaviour".
But Poh revealed that the club are, in fact, aligned with Steinebrunner over the penalty decision, but cannot back their man because of what they deem as a disrespectful outburst.
"His comments on the game are not wrong - this (referee's decision going against a club) happens in football all the time - but whether he (Steinebrunner) could actually see from that distance, I don't know - but as a professional, there's no reason to go into a media conference and behave like that.
"He disrespected the club, the game, and even the media," said Poh, who added that while the club do take action against red-carded players, Yazid is in no danger.
Fazrul Nawaz, the Tampines player Yazid was adjudged to have fouled in the lead-up to the penalty, approached Poh to offer his apologies after the game, a move that the Warriors official revealed helped convince the club Yazid was not at fault.
But that had no bearing on the Warriors' stance on Steinebrunner, whose side are struggling right now, sitting third from bottom in the standings.
Said Poh: "The club have given him a warning letter and we will take (further) action against him, but we want to see what FAS will do first."
In response to TNP queries, an FAS spokesman said: "We are aware of the incident in question and are currently looking into the matter.
"Any form of abuse or disrespect towards match officials, whether during or after matches, will not be condoned."
Steinebrunner's case will not be the first one for the FAS disciplinary committee.
Geylang International coach Hasrin Jailani was suspended for one match, after an outburst against unfavourable penalty decisions in Geylang's 0-0 draw with Albirex in March.