Union Berlin coach Nenad Bielica has admitted his wrongdoing, but refuses to apologize.
“Bielica spoke about his attack, and he doesn’t want to apologize to Leroy Sane,” German media outlet Bild reported on Friday.
Union Berlin lost 0-1 to Bayern Munich in the 13th round of the 2023/24 Bundesliga at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, on Sept. 25 (ET).
The first goal of the match came shortly after the start of the second half. In the first minute of the second half, Bayern’s Raphael Guerreiro scored the winning goal. No further goals were scored and the game ended with a 1-0 victory for Munich.
There was a shocking moment during the game. In the 30th minute of the second half, when Union was trailing by a goal, coach Union Bielica was holding the ball. When Sane asked him for the ball, he refused to hand it over.
Sane swung his arm to take the ball away, and Coach Bielitsa ducked behind him. Bielica then slapped Sane on the cheek.
The two men tangled in anger, players and officials rushed to break it up, and eventually the referee showed Bielica a red card. Coach Bielitsa watched the rest of the game from the stands.
After the game, Bielitsa said, “(Hitting Sane) was unacceptable behavior. I understand the decision to send him off,” he said.
But then he made a statement that was hard to understand. “I will only apologize to my team. It’s unacceptable. I can’t apologize to Sane. He came to provoke me, and of course I didn’t react the way a coach should react. I have nothing more to say.”
“I wanted to get the ball back quickly to attack, so I got a little rough, and Coach Bielitsa pushed me in the cheek,” Sane recalled.
“I don’t resent this,” said Sane. I’ve already forgotten that scene. We were a little emotional in that situation. Anyway, the important thing is that we got the three points,” he added.
For his unsportsmanlike behavior, Bielitsa is unlikely to escape discipline. “For putting his hands on Sane, Bielsa will face a big punishment,” said Sports Illustrated.