The coach of a Spanish youth team has been sacked after a 25-0 win – because the club’s management decided the margin of victory went against the spirit of the game.
After defeating fellow Valencia side Benicalap C on 3 June, Serranos B’s under-11 manager was removed from his position.
“We believe in encouraging respect for your opponents. After the result, we decided that the manager should leave,” Pablo Alcaide, who helps run the side, told El Pais.
However, the Spanish newspaper also published comments from the manager’s lawyer, who insisted his client had not pushed players to score as many as they could.
The manager instead instructed his side “to pressure only in their own half” in the eight-a-side game, but Benicalap C “continued to attack and left spaces in behind”, the lawyer said.
The game was Benicalap C’s final match of the season. They finished bottom of the league with zero points and 247 goals conceded from their 30 matches.
El Pais reports that such one-sided scores are not infrequent in Spanish youth football, but many clubs stop counting once they have scored more than 10 goals.
The English FA’s latest guidance to youth coaches, published in 2012, is designed to “challenge the win-at-all-costs mentality that is stifling development and enjoyment for young people”.