A-League side Brisbane Roar was slammed as the “laughing stock of Asia” and “truly embarrassing” Wednesday after a shock loss to Philippine minnows Ceres Negros in an AFC Champions League qualifier.
Roar, the fancied side, suffered further embarrassment when some players’ shirt numbers peeled off during the game in Brisbane late Tuesday. The club lost the game 3-2, watched by just over 1,000 fans.
Brisbane are currently mid-way through the A-league season, and languishing in eighth place out of 10 teams, while Ceres Negros are undergoing pre-season training.
Under-pressure Roar coach John Aloisi, a former Socceroos striker, refused to resign after the match and blamed his players for their attitudes.
“I won’t walk away — I don’t give up,” Brisbane’s Courier Mail quoted Aloisi as saying.
“Obviously they (the Roar players) underestimated them — I know I didn’t. Even when we went 1-0 up the players must have thought they were going to cruise through that game.”
The game turned farcical in the second half when Roar were reduced to 10 men after French sub Eric Bautheac had to wait on the sidelines for several minutes after his number, 22, peeled off the back of his shirt.
Bautheac eventually returned to the field with a No.77 shirt with tape to make it look like a No.22.
In a furious rant on Fox Sports, former Socceroos and Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich ripped into the team and accused them of not respecting the competition or their opponents.
“The only thing I can say is to anyone that was watching this is to say on behalf of Australian football I’d like to apologise because that was truly embarrassing,” he said.
“I really am speechless other than to say… just pull out of the competition because I’ve never seen that before in my footballing life.
“Something’s gotta give after that… it just shows how much it means to us and how much it means to them to have that thing go on right there in the Asian premier competition.”
Another ex-Socceroo Robbie Slater tweeted: “Laughing stock of Asia tonight ! @FOXFOOTBALL absolutely incredible ! In a bad way ! A really bad way !”
Brisbane issued a statement acknowledging that the result was “disappointing and the performance was unacceptable”.
“We have always worn our orange jersey with pride,” the statement said.
“(Brisbane Roar FC) would like to assure its members, supporters, partners and the local football community that we are fully committed to improving both on and off the field.” – Agence France-Presse