The Angers club announced on Tuesday March 7 the resignation of its coach Abdel Bouhazama, weakened by his sporting failure and undermined by his inappropriate comments in support of a player prosecuted for touching. "Faced with media pressure and to preserve the club's image and the serenity of the locker room, Abdel Bouhazama announced to President Saïd Chabane that he had decided to leave his post," the club announced in a press release, without specifying who would take over. now the reins of the Ligue 1 red lantern team.
The coach is the subject of very strong criticism after inappropriate remarks during his pre-match chat in Montpellier on Sunday to support a player who admitted touching a young woman. "It's not bad, we've all already touched girls," said the coach before the heavy defeat in Montpellier (5-0), according to several sources cited by the daily newspapers Ouest France and L'Equipe and confirmed by a correspondent for Agence France-Presse.
The comments shocked in the locker room and beyond. On Tuesday morning, Angers town hall sports deputy Charles Diers, a former club player, commented: “A Ligue 1 coach cannot express himself like this. An educator cannot talk like that. A man shouldn't say such things."
Many supporters had called for the technician's resignation on social networks, especially since his sporting record since taking over from Gérald Baticle in November 2022 is catastrophic: nine defeats and two draws in the league, and a team in perdition heading towards Ligue 2.
The Ultras du Kop de la Butte 1992 denounced Bouhazama's "mind-blowing statements" in a press release and called for a demonstration on Sunday morning in front of the Raymond Kopa stadium before the match against Toulouse. But their demands go far beyond the coach: they demand the departure of President Saïd Chabane, himself prosecuted since 2020 for aggravated sexual assault after the accusations of six women who were his employees at the time of the facts.
" Context "
According to the club's communications director, Mohammed Sifaoui, contacted by AFP, Bouhazama's comments during the talk "appreciated in a decontextualized manner are unacceptable and reprehensible; but analyzed in their context of pre-match chat, they are more of a clumsiness and a boorishness ".
Mr. Bouhazama was looking to boost the confidence of 28-year-old full-back Ilyes Chetti, who started for just the third time this season after local media revealed last week that he was being charged with sexual assault. Mr. Chetti admitted touching a young woman during a nightclub party in late 2022 and will be tried in April.