A-League side Brisbane Roar yesterday were slammed as the “laughing stock of Asia” and “truly embarrassing” after a shock loss to Philippine minnows Ceres Negros in an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League qualifier.
Roar suffered further embarrassment when some players’ shirt numbers peeled off during the game in Brisbane on Tuesday. The club lost the game 3-2, watched by just more than 1,000.
Brisbane are midway through the A-league season and languishing in eighth place out of 10 teams, while Ceres Negros are undergoing pre-season training.
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,” the 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 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 apologize, 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.”
“Laughing stock of Asia tonight ! @FOXFOOTBALL absolutely incredible ! In a bad way ! A really bad way !” another ex-Socceroo Robbie Slater said on Twitter.
Brisbane issued a statement saying that “the performance was unacceptable.”
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