The story is already one of the biggest in The11.ca‘s history.
On Sunday, Fort Lauderdale coach Gunter Kronsteiner and goalkeeping coach Ricardo Lopes were escorted out of Clarke Stadium by Edmonton Police, as the Strikers played the Eddies to a 1-1 draw.
Now, we have a video
mintagemontage, courtesy of the M31 Design Group — which produced the broadcast that aired Sunday on Sportsnet 360 — of the incidents. They show the coaches’ unhappiness over FC Edmonton’s Lance Laing being allowed to re-take a free kick that led to a goal. It shows the coaches coming onto the field of play to protest, and then police were required to remove them. It shows Lopes on the cellphone (and it was clear to us in the booth that he was in contact with the bench), a confrontation between Kronsteiner and FC Edmonton general manager Rod Proudfoot and, finally, the removal of the Fort Lauderdale coaches from the stadium.
Let’s be clear. Suspended or ejected coaches trying to manage their teams via cellphone is not new. It’s been done before. But what was odd about this was how blatant and obvious the pair of coaches were about it. Usually, the coaches will go away to a secluded spot and get on the phone. Kronsteiner and Lopes were doing it in the stands, just two rows down from the broadcast area, and in middle of FCE supporters who were calling them out because it was obvious they were breaking the rules. This looks more like a case of a coaching staff flouting the rules than simply trying to break them.
NASL stated today that there wouldn’t be any comment Monday, and that the teams would be informed of any disciplinary decisions coming out of this.