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CF Montreal fires coach after political backlash over comments about Quebec election shooting


CF Montreal fired the head coach of the reserve team after the club and former professional player Soccer the player has been heavily criticized for his past comments that appeared to support an assassination attempt against the former prime minister of Quebec Pauline Marois on election night 2012.

Decide to Sandro Grande came a day after the organization announced he was joining the staff. His appointment immediately provoked a backlash from Quebec’s political circles.

“We recognize that hiring Sandro Grande was a mistake and we regret any consequences that may have been caused by this decision,” CF Montreal President and CEO Gabriel Gervais said in a statement. a statement on Tuesday.

“We would like to offer our sincerest apologies to anyone who was hurt or shocked. Obviously, we showed a lack of sensitivity and underestimated what he said and what he did a few years ago.”

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The prime minister of Quebec and other politicians spoke out against Grande’s recruitment after Major League Soccer club made the announcement Monday. François Legault’s office said in a statement to The Canadian Press that Grande made “hurtful and unacceptable remarks in the past.”

“His date was disrespectful and sent the wrong message,” the office said. “It was a serious lack of judgment on the part of CF Montreal.”

Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon called the hiring unacceptable in a series of tweets on Monday. Quebec Liberal Party MNA Marwah Rizqy, who has been the target of death threats during the campaign, has encouraged others to “don’t trivialize gestures or words”.

Grande and CF Montreal came under fire for social media comments from 2012 about the deadly Metropolis shooting in downtown Montreal. Premier-elect and Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois was giving a victory speech when a gunman opened fire, killing one person and wounding another.

After the attack, Grande is said to have written of Marois that “the only mistake the shooter made last night was to miss the target!!! Maroc!!! Next time my boy! I hope!”

Grande has always claimed her account was hacked, according to La Presse. However, the former footballer admitted to calling the separatist voters “perverts”, adding that they were “unbelievably stupid”.

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When CF Montreal initially announced the hiring, it included an apology from Grande – who said he was grateful and happy for the opportunity.

“I made some serious mistakes a few years ago and I sincerely apologize to those whose previous comments have offended in any way,” Grande said in a statement. “I learned a lot from them and I knew I was joining an organization where the values ​​of inclusion and diversity were fundamental. I think it’s important to use my personal experience to continuously improve and correct past mistakes.”

Gervais is scheduled to meet with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

with files from the Canadian Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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