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Oh, Florida … referees eject youth soccer coach for talking to his team in Spanish

Dec 21, 2012, 10:03 AM EDT

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The youth soccer organization in question is backtracking, saying it “was all a misunderstanding,” but a Cooper City, FL coach is saying that he was ejected from a game by referees because he yelled instructions to his team in Spanish. Officials for the Optimist Club league confirm this, but said they had no rule banning players or coaches from speaking in a foreign language during games.

But ejected coach Ruben Albarracin said he was sanctioned for talking in Spanish to his players about tactics, as he usually does.

“I had never felt discriminated before,” said Albarracin, the coach of Dallas FC, whose 12 players range from 14 to 18, and are mostly immigrants or the children of immigrants from Latin America, where soccer is a national sport.

Albarracin’s assistant coach Carlos Perez said, “We were told there was a new rule that we could not speak Spanish. We told the referees that we wanted to see that rule in writing and that’s when things got ugly.” Perez witnessed the incident but, unlike Albarracin, was not sanctioned.

Respect my authori-tay!

According to the Sun Sentinel, the league had an incident last year in which a coach speaking in Hebrew told some of his players to break the legs of a rival team during a game. Yikes. So the president of the league then told coaches to “be careful” about talking to players in a language that can’t be understood by everyone.

But it’s vague edicts like that one that cause more problems than they fix. Anyway, I’m shocked that this happened in Florida, where usually only sensible things happen.

H/T SportsbyBrooks.

  1. aklolzer - Dec 21, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    This is America, speak English. If you don’t like it, move out.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 24, 2012 at 1:11 AM

      How stupid. Nobody spoke English on this continent until fairly recently. Even the guy credited with its “discovery,” Christopher Columbus, was Italian and was being financed by the Spanish. And the original natives, mislabeled Indians by Columbus, certainly didn’t speak English. If your ancestors emigrated here they likely didn’t speak English either. To expect everyone to speak your language all the time just because they happen to be in North America is childish.

      • skids003 - Dec 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM

        Nobody spoke anything thousands of years ago. That’s your typical stupid manchester argument.

        • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:12 PM

          Really, skids. I would beg to differ. Unless your numbering your thousands in terms of several or more. The ancient Egyptians defintely were at a minimum of about 4 thousands of years ago. Brush up on your history. That said, I can understand the point of having this type of rule. Poker has it. But the rule isn’t nearly as vague as this one.