Official statement from Luis Pimenta, Head coach of IF Brommapojkarna (IFBP)
"Is it possible to defend yourself against improper, anonymous rumours, detached fragments of situations and discussions, and from journalistic interpretation of disconnected linguistic paraphrases? The task is almost impossible, but in this heated situation I have no choice but to try."
Here are my answers to the three main topics and accusations, pointed directly at me such as ”racism”, ”sexism” and ”leadership”.
The “n-word” has never been used by me personally. Never has a depreciative comment been made by me about any race, nationality or origin. Simple research about my past would find that I had jobs, during several years, in social-integration projects with children from diverse backgrounds and social status, such as in Manchester United Soccer Schools in Lisbon and Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools in New-Delhi.
Yes, I have used the words “balls” and “pussy”. On this matter, a humble self-evaluation leads me to understand that the two expressions were used in English (“having the balls” and “being a pussy”), with words that, when translated directly to Swedish, have a completely different meaning, and a sexual connotation.
However, in the English language, which we use in all trainings, meetings and dressing room speeches, its meaning was purely related to bravery and guts, with the presentation being clear that they meant “giving a hard time to opponent” and “no desire to develop, to help my team, to succeed and to conquer” respectively.
In any football dressing room at a senior level, in Sweden or abroad, such expressions are used, with no sexual interpretation at all, and of course no intent for sexual discrimination. Yes, “balls” is a slang for testicles, and “pussy” is a dirty word for female genitals. But the term “having balls” is also used for both males and females, meaning you have got great courage or being very brave. And “being a pussy” paraphrase often to men who show lack of such courage. It’s as simple as that, but I have no trouble understanding that they can be mistaken if you really want to do that.
In this matter, these expressions were completely taken out of context, being distorted.
In every team, in any club, players, fans and spectators will, for various reasons, be dissatisfied with the coach's philosophy, judgment, communication and tactical dispositions.
In this topic, strong and damaging words have been used such as “pennalism”, “mobbing” and “trakassering”. This should be analyzed in two categories: collective & individual.
Collectively, all practices used in BP, like removing/adding a day off, running during a training session, having a day with two training sessions, or analyzing the match proceeding with a self-evaluation, are all common practices in any football team. If we look at the facts in a two-sided perspective, which the article in Aftonbladet didn’t do, the numbers are clear: after the summer break,four days off have been added to the initial calendar (which already includes the normal days off), and only one has been removed.
Individually, there has been only one case of individual action throughout the whole year, where the Club took measures, to which I agreed with, after several undesired behaviors from one of our players, and in order to protect the rest of the group.
Right now, it's more important for me to help bring out the correct facts than to restart a debate about the press's source-critical obligations when anonymous people are making personal attacks on named people. My statement, after some day's disproportionate debate about my leadership and football commitment, must therefore not be read as an attack on the press, but as a sincere attempt to place facts where they belong.
Sadly, this case has put the club BP, our faithful fans, sponsors, players, coaches and collegues in a difficult situation. I am glad that the club has taken the matter seriously, and initiated a quick process to get all the correct facts on the table. I also appreciate all the support statements I have received this weekend and today, from people who love the club, from colleagues and players. And I'm confident that everyone, with facts in hand, will get a more nuanced and correct image of the matter than the current status.
Bromma, 3. september
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