Soccer: Mexico coach apologises for touchline rant

(Reuters) - Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio has apologised after television cameras caught him using an expletive during Wednesday’s ill-tempered Confederations Cup match against New Zealand.

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Osorio said he was incensed during the first half of the game when Mexico defender Carlos Salcedo was left injured after a clash with rival forward Chris Wood in the New Zealand area and their opponents failed to kick the ball out of play.

New Zealand played on, went down the other end and nearly scored, with the Mexicans urging their opponents to stop the game.

“I want to apologise to all the television viewers, I obviously went over the top when I got involved with their assistant coach,” he told Mexican media after his side’s 2-1 win.

“We always understood and respected their way of playing, a very direct type of football, with a lot of contact.”

“The situation in which Carlos Salcedo was left on the ground gave them a goalscoring chance,” added the Colombian. “Our players and myself were shouting at them and the New Zealand coach to stop the match.”

FIFA, however, has tried to stop the practice of teams kicking the ball out of play to allow treatment to injured opponents after it became routinely abused by players feigning injury to waste time or break up an attack.

Teams who voluntarily kicked the ball out also got a raw deal because the ball would be returned to them deep in their own half rather than where play stopped.

Instead, teams are now encouraged to play on until the referee stops the game, no matter how many players are down injured or how serious the injury appears to be.

However, the guidelines have proved difficult to enforce in some countries, particularly Spain and Italy where teams continue to demand that opponents kick the ball out if one of their players is injured – whether it be genuine or not.

Wednesday’s match was marred by a number of ugly incidents including a brawl near the end of the match as New Zealand were pressing for an equaliser.

Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty