Hernán Darío Gómez is facing calls to resign as Colombia’s head coach after punching a woman outside a bar in downtown Bogota.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning after Gómez had been knocking back the aguardiente (fiery water) in the upscale neighbourhood of La Macarena.
Eyewitnesses outside of El Bembé Bar said the head coach landed two blows on a female companion.
Gómez, better known as El Bolillo (The Truncheon) in Colombia, has since issued an apology.
“I want to say publicly that I regret the incident and regret the way I lost control. I have always admired and respected women. This act shames my mother, my wife and every single female in my family and my country.”
Dilian Francisca Toro is a Colombian senator who recently helped draw up tough new guidelines for crowd control at football matches in the country. Toro is now demanding that El Bolillo walks from his job.
“There is no excuse for a nationally known character, especially one involved in sport, to do something like this. I believe he should quit on account of the terrible example he has set to others.”
Fellow politician Alexandra Moreno Piraquive has backed up Toro’s sentiments. Piraquive, president of Colombia’s Commission for the Equity of Women, referenced an incident that occurred earlier in the year during a domestic fixture.
“How is it possible that when a footballer kicks an owl he is heavily punished but when an incident involves violence against a woman we are suppose to accept a simple apology.”
It remains to be seen what action will be taken by the Colombian Football Federation following Gómez’s attack. The federation’s chief Luis Bedoya has so far only released a very cagey statement relating to the incident.
“The whole thing is very regrettable. From an institutional point of view of course we don’t like the situation. It seems to be a personal issue that does not relate directly to the manager’s professional work with the national team.”
Gómez is currently serving his second term in charge of the Colombian national team and recently led them to the quarter-finals of the Copa America.
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