Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Kronsteiner breaks league’s gag order on FCE ejection, mocks female fourth official

Kronsteiner breaks league’s gag order on FCE ejection, mocks female fourth official


FC Edmonton will keep its vow of silence, despite some of the public comments made by Fort Lauderdale coach Gunter Kronsteiner in the wake of his one-game suspension and $250 fine for his conduct at Clarke Stadium last week.

On Friday night, our friends at Miami’s Ultras Alive aired the comments Kronsteiner made during a Strikers’ fans forum. (CLICK HERE and start at the 73-minute mark).

Kronsteiner addressed the incident in Edmonton, which saw him, goalkeeping coach Ricardo Lopes and sub Walter Restrepo chucked out of the game for coming onto the field and challenging referee Alain Ruch’s decision to abort FCE’s free-kick attempt. On FCE’s second attempt, Lance Laing scored the Eddies’ only goal in a 1-1 draw.

The Eddies confirmed that they can’t comment because the league has asked both teams to not comment on the situation. So, that’s what makes Kronsteiner’s decision to go public a little baffling. It’s great for media, and great for the Ultras show, that Kronsteiner decided to talk about the incident; but with NASL officials in the room during the Strikers’ fan summit, we again saw the same hubris that he displayed last Sunday in the Clarke Stadium stands — making a public show of defiance that, somehow, league rules doesn’t apply to him.

Last Sunday, police officers escorted Kronsteiner and Lopes away from the pitch. At halftime, the league office told FCE that the coaches could sit in the stands, but were not allowed to communicate with the bench. On Wednesday (CLICK HERE) commissioner Bill Peterson admitted that the league didn’t pass on the correct information, that it would have been OK for coaches to try and communicate.

But in the case of Sunday, it doesn’t really matter, does it? What matters is that the league itself gave Kronsteiner and Lopes an order not to talk, and they broke it. They made a big show of it, in the middle of a packed stand. And, eventually, they were escorted out by police.

Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to hear the comments. But we’ll highlight some.

Kronsteiner said that after Laing’s first kick hit the wall that he thought the “situation was over.” He goes on to say that Laing put the ball down and said to the ref that the strong wind had caused the ball to move and that he would re-take the shot.

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

That is NOT at all close to how it happened. I did the colour on the game broadcast. We watched it over and over in the booth. Ruch blows the whistle to stop play BEFORE Laing takes the free kick. That is absolutely clear. So, the play is dead before it even happens. Yes, Laing went through with the kick, but the whistle had already gone because the ball began to move. We can debate Ruch’s wisdom of blowing the first play dead because of the wind on the ball, but one thing that’s not up for debate is that the whistle had sounded. So, Kronsteiner’s continuing story that Laing somehow conned the ref into a second free kick is completely false. Surely, Kronsteiner has seen the replays by now. Surely he has heard the whistle sounding. Sure, at the time he might have not heard the whistle… but by the time the Strikers’ supporters summit came around?

This is what he said:

“There was a fourth official, it was a lady, sorry, no offence (laughter of fans)… What I did, I said to the fourth official, you know what, that it is not correct, it is against the rules. She said to me really (undistinguishable) she said, ’you’re right, it cannot happen like this, but today is such a strong wind that you cannot look at this, you know, like it is normal. I said what the hell are you talking about? There are rules and regulations!’”

Sure, let’s make fun of Sheena Dickson. Not for her work on the pitch, but because she’s a woman! FCE just launched women’s programs in Edmonton and in Calgary. Coach Colin Miller worked with the national women’s program before coming to FCE. He coached Sophie Schmidt. Contrast that to Fort Lauderdale’s coach, who decides the gender of the fourth official is worthy of a public joke.

(And, before you start writing the “homer” comments, remember that I had originally called for Kronsteinr to get a 1+1 suspension, that I felt because he was new to league, he deserved a break).

Kronsteiner then says that he went up to the 20 or 21st row of the stadium and didn’t say a word. TV cameras caught him in a halftime screaming match with FC Edmonton General Manager Rod Proudfoot. Kronsteiner had tried to get back on the field of play after ejection, which is a violation of the FIFA laws of the game.

Maybe “silence” translates to something else in German.

Oh, and there are only 14 rows in the Clarke Stadium stand in which they sat.

So, while some might have found Kronsteiner funny, the one thing he wasn’t is truthful. It’s one thing to break the league’s no-talk with an honest rendition of what happened. But to turn it into a comedic monologue filled at best with half-truths is a massive show of disrespect to the league, his club and his employers.

The league can fine coaches for disrespecting referees for their halftime comments on the TV broadcasts. So the question is, will the league at least fine Kronsteiner for publicly breaking the no-talk edict? Or will it be brushed aside?

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  1. Dead Horse

    September 22, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Please stop beating me. I’ve given your blog enough traffic.

  2. footy

    September 21, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Who is this clown and why does the league let him get away with this? I know it’s unusual in Europe to have female refs at men’s games, but WTF? I always applaud the fact that NASL does have females refs and in most cases it seems to have a calming effect on the lads.

  3. Joe

    September 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Steve, you’re really taking this too far.

    • Seathanaich

      September 22, 2013 at 12:06 am

      I disagree. This is worthy of disection and criticism.

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