Soccer coach criticized by rival for celebrating in the face of a ball boy after team's late winner

Sat, Mar 16, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

Soccer coach criticized by rival for celebrating in the face of a ball boy after team's late winner

WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) - A soccer manager in England was slammed by a rival coach for celebrating in the face of a 13-year-old ball boy after a late winning goal in a thrilling FA Cup quarterfinal match on Saturday.

After his team scored in the 10th minute of stoppage time to secure a 3-2 victory over Wolverhampton, Coventry manager Mark Robins ran over to the ball boy and crouched toward him before later aiming a fist pump in his direction.

Robins offered an unprompted apology for his behavior in his post-match news conference, saying the ball boy had annoyed him before the late goal by dropping the ball in front of him and walking away with a smile on his face.

"He's a kid, at the end of the day," Robins said. "I have reacted. We scored the goal and I went and celebrated in front of him.

"I apologize to him ... I don't show emotion very often but that is what the FA Cup does to you. I apologize to him unreservedly."

Wolves manager Gary O'Neil said Robins' conduct was "disgusting."

"I was disappointed," O'Neil said. "I waited for Mark downstairs and spoke to him because I was really respectful at the end, having lost a massive game, waited for them to finish their celebrations, shook everyone's hands, congratulated them on a real good performance, reaching Wembley and what a fantastic achievement it was.

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"And he apologized. But to celebrate in a young boy's face like that I thought was disgusting. The boy is really upset. It shouldn't happen, but I don't have too much to say about it because we have lost and it's going to seem bitter. But I thought it was really important to speak to Mark about it because they are just kids doing a job."

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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