The head coach of Turkish youth team Kayseri Meysuspor, Halit Kurt, has insisted that beating players is a normal practice in football, explaining that such an approach gives them extra motivation to win matches.
Kurt became embroiled in a huge row after a video of him smacking young club players in the face was posted on social media, triggering a public outcry in Turkey.
“I will kill you! What a disgrace!” the hot-tempered coach is heard shouting at the players in the footage, giving a slap in the face to each of them.
The incident reportedly took place during the 2016-2017 season, when Kayseri Meysuspor took part in a local football event and were trailing 1-3 at the end of the first half.
After the video was widely shared on social media, Kurt commented on his extraodinary behaviour, stressing that this “method” of bringing up champions had been widely used not only in Turkey but all over the world.
“Not only do I use this method” the coach said: “It was widely used by previous generations. All of us know that Alex Ferguson slapped David Beckham. [Famous football manager] Fatih Terim is also said to beat players from time to time.”
The coach underlined that the team’s internal affairs should not be in the public domain, comparing them with the sacred privacy of a married couple.
“I love my players. We have a parent-child relationship. As for the video that was shared I should say that the events in a locker room should not become the property of the public, as with a married couple’s actions in a bedroom,” Kurt added.
It remains unknown what, if any, sanctions will be imposed on the coach after Kayseri Amateur Sports Clubs Federation opened disciplinary proceeding against him.
Kurt has not yet been fired and continues to coach children in Kayseri Meysuspor.