Source: Inter Miami coach Phil Neville apologizes for referee rant
Discovered on: 2021-10-14 18:29:19
Inter Miami Head Coach Phil Neville coaches against New England Revolution in the first half of his MLS soccer match at the DRV PNK Stadium on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
MATIAS J. OCNER
Inter Miami coach Phil Neville opened his Thursday news conference with an explanation and apology for his weekend rant about MLS officiating, which drew a fine from the league.
“After the game I said the things that I said in the emotions of losing a really important game and in terms of feelings of the last two or three games, feeling a bit hard done by a couple of decisions that didn’t go our way,” Neville said. “I used the wrong terminology to describe how I felt.”
Neville said he has been very supportive of referees since he joined MLS and reiterated that after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls he praised the referee but was upset about video review calls and chose to stick up for his team and club.
“I used the wrong word — cheat — which should never be used towards officials or in games of football,” he said. “I had really good dialogue with both MLS and the PRO referees [organization] in terms of the decisions, my behavior, the word used, and the respect that is needed from both sides, and obviously my assurance that this was just a one-off.”
He said as a new coach in the league he came out of the conversations having learned a lot.
“When you’re a young manager you shoot from the hip sometimes and maybe Saturday I did do that and it was a big learning curve for me in terms of the words I used,” he said. “I really want to move on from it and nip it in the bud.”
Neville’s latest comments come a day after the Professional Soccer Referees Association, which represents more than 200 officials in North America, e-mailed a letter to the coach and MLS commissioner Don Garber saying their members were “outraged” by Neville’s postgame comments.
The organization was also dissatisfied with the league’s response.
“The PSRA is very disappointed both in Mr. Neville’s comments and behavior, which we find to be unprofessional and reprehensible, and also in the outcome from commissioner [Don] Garber,” Steve Taylor, executive director of the PSRA, told the Miami Herald on Wednesday.
Inter Miami is on the road Saturday against the Columbus Crew (6 p.m., My33, CW34, Inter Miami app). The team is desperate to end a five-game losing streak and keep its playoff hopes alive. Miami is in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, eight points shy of the final playoff spot with six games to go.
Miami will be missing key players, as it has the past several games. Defenders Nico Figal (calf) and Kieran Gibbs (hamstring) will miss the game and may be ready to return for the home game against Toronto next Wednesday. Winger Brek Shea has a back strain, missed practice the past few days and is questionable. Midfielder Victor Ulloa returned to full training Thursday, but his status for the game is unknown.
This story was originally published October 14, 2021 2:18 PM.
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Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman has covered 14 Olympics, six World Cups, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, NCAA Basketball Tournaments, NBA Playoffs, and has been the University of Miami basketball beat writer for 20 years. She was born in Frederick, Md., and grew up in Miami.