March 3rd, 2024

Canada coach says Panama counterpart used abusive language at CONCACAF championship

By The Canadian Press on February 5, 2024.

This undated photo shows Canada under-17 women’s coach Emma Humphries. She says her Panama counterpart verbally abused her, the Canadian bench and his own players during his team's 5-1 loss Sunday (Feb. 4, 2024) at the CONCACAF Under-17 Women's Championship.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Canada Soccer **MANDATORY CREDIT**

TOLUCA, Mexico – Canada coach Emma Humphries says her Panama counterpart verbally abused her, the Canadian bench and his own players during his team’s 5-1 loss Sunday at the CONCACAF Under-17 Women’s Championship.

“Throughout the game their coach (Victor Suarez) was making degrading comments towards women, towards myself, towards his own team “¦ the whole stadium could hear it and the referees heard it too,” said Humphries. “He also swore, he used the F-word at my assistant.”

“There’s just no place in women’s sports, men’s sports, for that kind of language,” she added.

With Spanish speakers on the Canadian bench, “it’s not that hard to figure out what he’s saying,” Humphries said. “(There were) some pretty bad comments coming from him.”

The Canadians turned the other cheek. Humphries said she still shook his hand after the match, saying: “We’re Canada. I’ll be the bigger person.”

“I’m not going to get into it personally with him. I’ll let the referees handle that,” she said.

Ironically, Cuban referee Suleimy Linares Saez showed Canadian assistant coach Gary Moody a red card early in the second half.

Humphries said Moody was shown the card for leaving the technical area after the referee, following an injury delay, started play while Canadian goalkeeper Noelle Henning was still at the sideline getting a drink of water.

Humphries said Moody was just trying to get the referee’s attention and had said nothing untoward. Canada was attempting to make a substitution at the time.

“He obviously encroached out (of the technical area) which we apologized for and we’ll take the consequences for that,” said Humphries, who was waiting to see whether Moody will be available for Tuesday’s game against the U.S. for first place in Group B at the eight-team tournament.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2024.

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