Strikers coaches get a game each, but no additional penalties after their brushes with Edmonton police (UPDATED with comments from Bill Peterson)

Gunter Kronsteiner escorted out of Clarke Stadium by the Edmonton Police Service. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

Gunter Kronsteiner escorted out of Clarke Stadium by the Edmonton Police Service. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

Fort Lauderdale Strikers’ coach Gunter Kronsteiner and goalkeeper coach Ricardo Lopes will miss this Saturday’s match against the New York Cosmos. Each will pay a US$250 fine.

The one-game suspensions are automatic for sendings-off. But there will be no additional penalties handed to the coaches in the wake of their controversial departures from Edmonton’s Clarke Stadium last Sunday. The coaches came on the field, as did sub Walter Restrepo, and all were sent off. Police were called in to remove the coaches from the field of play.

NASL commissioner Bill Peterson said there was no conclusive evidence to prove the coaches deserved heavier punishments. But he also admitted that NASL deserves to take a large share of the blame for a series of miscommunications and “procedural errors” that led to the escalation of the situation.

“In the case of the sendings off of the two players and the coach, we could not conclusively see evidence of the things that may or may not have happened,” said Peterson.

But the commissioner said the incidents will have the NASL governors debating additions to the rulebook ahead of the 2014 season, especially in regards to to conduct of players or coaches who have been sent off.

Kronsteiner and Lopes were sent off by referee Alain Ruch after they protested a decision to allow FC Edmonton to re-take a free kick. The Eddies scored on the ensuing attempt. (CLICK HERE FOR RECAP)

Kronsteiner was later seen trying to re-enter the field of play, where his path was blocked by FC Edmonton General Manager Rod Proudfoot. Their shouting match was caught on TV. During the second half, cameras showed Lopes, from the stands, talking to the trainers on the bench.

Midway through the second half, after FCE officials felt they had enough proof that the pair were talking to their bench, police were called in to eject the par from the stadium. Proudfoot said on Sunday that league operations had told the team that the two banned coaches could sit in the stands, provided that they did not make contact with their bench. If they tried to communicate with their team, they could be removed.

Peterson confirmed that the league had told FCE that the coaches were not allowed to try to contact their bench. But he admitted that it was a mistake to do so. Peterson said there actually isn’t anything in the league rulebook that forbids coaches from contacting the benches after they’ve been sent off (Previously, in games where FCE coaches have been sent off, they have been asked to not leave the dressing rooms — so there isn’t consistency in policy from stadium to stadium. When FCE assistant Jeff Paulus was sent off at Carolina’s WakeMed Park, he was told to not leave the dressing-room area).

“We told them the wrong thing,” said Peterson.

The suspensions are the lightest sentences the coaches could possibly have received, outside of the league deciding to rescind their sendings-off.

FC Edmonton officials said they would not make any comment on the reports of the suspensions.


About Steven Sandor

I'm currently the colour commentator for FC Edmonton broadcasts on Sportsnet, and TEAM 1260. I've covered the Toronto FC beat for four years, worked for the Edmonton Aviators of the USL for a season, covered the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL and started covering Canadian World Cup qualifiers in 1996. I've covered the CONCACAF Champions League and the U-20 World Cup. I'm passionate about soccer in North America.