this is the closest thing to a reason right now
OFA chief throws light on what led to Macala sacking
Wednesday, February 28, 2007 3:14:46 AM Oman Time
MUSCAT — OFA chairman Sheikh Saif bin Hashil Al Maskari formally announced yesterday the sacking of national coach Milan Macala to a crowded gathering of sports scribes at his office yesterday.
But he clarified that the illustrious coach was not being made a scapegoat for losing the Gulf Cup final and the decision doesn’t undermine his capability as coach.
“It was unfortunate the way the news leaked out last night as we definitely did not want coach Macala to learn it from the newspapers,” said Al Maskari. “However, the news is true and from now on Hamad Al Azzani will take over as the caretaker coach of the Olympic team,” he explained.
Though expressing his gratitude to Macala, the OFA chairman said: “This is not a hasty decision and all that has happened was arrived at unanimously.”
He explained: “We did our homework by evaluating what had happened so far, especially the final of the Gulf Cup in Abu Dhabi. We had discussion with the coach, the players, analysts, journalists and also fans and discussed the report elaborately, before the board jointly decided to see the back of Macala.”
The OFA boss also explained that things were already brewing before the Gulf Cup, “but we had only taken over the OFA administration in December and we did not want to disturb the situation as Gulf Cup was around the corner (January).”
He added: “We do appreciate the team’s performance but the discussion on the coach started only after Oman lost the final to hosts UAE.”
Detailing further he said: “The probe thereafter has highlighted certain factors, which were not appreciable. Especially, we found that there was a gap (differences) between the coach and the players who are professionals. We now need a coach who can treat the professionals in a professional way. It was also learnt that the players were not happy with the changes Macala made during the final.”
When queried whether OFA had already set their eyes on any other coach, Sheikh Saif Al Maskari responded: “Yes we are on a lookout and definitely our hope is to rope in a coach, who can handle the professional players well.”
When asked about the rumour that names of German coach Winfred Shaeffer and Bruno Metsu were in the air, the OFA chief denied it, saying the media would come to know once OFA finalised their selection. Obviously the OFA have to decide quickly as the Asian Cup finals are fast approaching.
On the legal complications of terminating Macala’s three-year contract abruptly, he said: “There is a clause in the agreement that both parties can decide to terminate the contract with a two-month notice.”
In that case Macala can remain in Oman for two more months.
The OFA chairman also said that Macala was officially informed of the decision at 12.30pm yesterday afternoon, after it was conveyed to the minister of sports affairs. However, the coach in his comments yesterday evening said that he was yet to receive the official letter, but expressed his shock over the action.
“It was really shocking to learn about my fate through the newspapers, which I did not expect at all,” said Macala.
However, he opined that once he got the official letter, he would talk to media and explain his views.
“It is not right for me to comment without knowing on what grounds the decision has been taken,” he added. There were also different versions of opinions and a scribe questioned, if nothing was well in the team camp, then why the coach alone had to bear the brunt, why not the whole technical staff?
These answers will hopefully come to light in the coming days.