Goal would like to retract the article "Bosnian coach accused of calling Kenyan players 'black monkeys' in league game" published on 23 December 2020. In that article we reported on the allegations of racist language used by the coach of Nairobi City without giving Sanjin Alagic the opportunity to respond.
The article was not published with any malicious intent to lie or defame the character of Sanjin Alagic, nor bring Nairobi City into disrepute. We completely retract the allegations and apologize for the error.
Here is a statement released by Nairobi City on the matter, which we publish in full:
Reports have reached us on allegations that our head coach Sanjin Alagic made racist comments against Vihiga United at the Utalii grounds on Wednesday 23 December 2020.
The game kicked off at 1pm and it is alleged that the comments were made to the Vihiga United players at half time. At that point the visitors led the game 1-0.
The allegations are grave to say the least and as a club we have launched immediate investigations on the same.
Nairobi City Stars and Jonathan Jackson Foundation are anti-racist organizations, and have done everything in their power to promote inclusivity and access to opportunity both within, and outside of football.
Our appointments have always fallen in line with our beliefs and our ethos.
The entire top brass of the club – chair Jonathan Jackson, CEO Patrick Korir and team coordinator Samson Otieno watched the game at very close range and we are aware of the coaches lamentation at refereeing decisions which led him to confront the fourth official time and again.
In fact, they were at all times, close enough to see and hear the engagement of the coach. At one point the chair Jonathan walked up to him asking him to lessen his complaints to the referee which he did for the entirety of the second half.
We also took note of exchange of words between some of our players and those from Vihiga United at that very moment.
The club and all of its employees firmly stand by Sanjin during this time, and is stoic in its belief in him as a personality that has never done anything other than fit in with, and amplify, Nairobi City Stars and Jonathan Jackson Foundation values at all times.
Sanjin is a well loved coach who has been personable with every person working with the club and the foundation since his arrival in Kenya, and has always been helpful and supportive even during his times away from the country.
To make baseless allegations of such gravity against an individual that has never shown such tendencies is intolerable.
To get us to the bottom of the matter, we have asked for the footage of the recorded game and would urge any one who was close by to share any videos, audios that can provide evidence on the same.
Should there be any evidence we will take immediate action as our club policy does not condone any form of kind of racism as we believe in respect and dignity to all.
By the same token, should no clear evidence be provided, as we expect, we will request a formal retraction and strong apology from those that have made these allegations, and will pursue all means necessary to ensure that the names and reputations of all involved are not tarnished by the frivolity of a few.
The matter is serious and we will treat it with the seriousness that it deserves.
--End of statement--