Wednesday 11th August 2021
Escalation to German coach
Hyballa resigns after “hunted”
There are violent allegations against the German coach Peter Hyballa. In an open letter, the players of the Danish second division football team Esbjerg FB accuse him of humiliation and bullying. Hyballa defends itself and now draws surprising consequences.
Peter Hyballa is no longer the coach of the Danish second division soccer team Esbjerg FB. “I resigned,” said the 45-year-old. The reason is slander and hunted down by the tabloid media and the influential players’ union. His family was also affected, said Hyballa. “I can’t accept that.” The coach, who had only taken over from the relegated team for the new season and had coached Alemannia Aachen in Germany, said he was foregoing severance pay.
The background is a dispute with parts of the team. A month ago, 21 players had accused Hyballa in an open letter of not having the professional and human qualities to lead the team. His harsh training methods would have resulted in injuries. In addition, they have experienced daily threats of layoffs, ridicule, sexist and humiliating remarks as well as regular bullying, which goes far beyond the already wide boundaries of the football world.
“This is character assassination, I defend myself against it”
Hyballa, who appeared as a ZDF tactics expert during the European Championship, rejects the allegations. “This is character assassination, I defend myself against it,” he said. There were “two or three ringleaders” who raised the mood against him and put other players under pressure. That has “happened in recent years, when this team has practically dismissed two or three coaches themselves,” Hyballa had recently said.
The US investors who bought the club earlier this year are also on his side. He has a friendly relationship with ex-Bundesliga professional Rafael van der Vaart, who was introduced as the new assistant coach on Tuesday at his instigation. At the end of July, club management member Paul Conway had also criticized the players’ actions. He has never seen anything so unprofessional, he told the local newspaper “Jydske Vestkysten”. The players could never decide who would play or who would train them. “Our coach is called Peter Hyballa, we have complete confidence in him,” Conway was quoted as saying. If the players so wished, they could have their contracts canceled and switch. Now things have turned out quite differently.