The epic coach meltdown comes in many shapes and sizes, but some of the most memorable rants have come in the form of tirades against members of the media. Enter Algeria national soccer team Coach Rabah Madjer who, while not quite reaching 2007 Mike Gundy status, found himself making headlines this week for lashing out at a reporter following Algeria’s recent 3-0 win over the Central African Republic.
Madjer, who has only been in the position for a month, lost his lid after a veteran reporter asked star player Riyad Mahrez, who plays for the Premier League’s Leicester City, why the team appeared to be slumping in recent games.
Like Kanye West stripping the mic from Taylor Swift at the MTV VMAs in 2009, Madjer decided to take over.
“Two seconds,” he said, tapping Mahrez’s arm.
What came next was nothing short of crazy.
Madjer accused radio journalist Maamar Djebbour, 54, of being “an enemy of the national team” before telling him to “shut up” four times, then calling on him to retire to “let the next generation do the job.”
Djebbour, who called Madjer’s reaction to his question “disproportionate” after the fact, could be heard in the background justifying his question, shouting back, according to local media reports, “I have a responsibility; you are the national team coach and you have to respond to our questions. You don’t accept criticism, and we are not here to be your guardian. Who are you to call me an enemy?!”
Madjer has been condemned by the Algerian Sports Journalists Association, which released a statement Thursday (via International Sports Press Association) charging that Madjer “abused” his power.
“[The ASJA] asks the national team coach to have a better attitude in the future regarding giving information to journalists,” the statement continued, “something he was not able to do on Tuesday evening during his violent reaction that contradicts sports ethics and serene relations that should prevail between the two parties.”
Madjer has not commented on his outburst.