A journalist has claimed that former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel called his players “pussies” for not wanting to play immediately after the bomb attack on the team bus.
Tuchel, who currently leads Paris Saint-Germain, has been accused of making the insensitive remark just days after the bomb attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus on 11th April 2017 when he was still in charge of the German club.
According to sports journalist Pit Gottschalk, who as a former chief sports reporter at Germany’s largest tabloid Bild is a reputable football insider in the country, the shocking remark even contributed to Dortmund breaking prematurely with Tuchel despite the team winning the German cup that year.
Pictures Credit: Golders
Tuchel already reportedly had a difficult relationship with Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, who he accused of selling their best players such as Mats Hummels and Henrikh Mkhitaryan despite assurances from the club’s board that they would remain at the club.
Events however escalated after the bomb attack just before Dortmund were set to play AS Monaco at home. Even though the match was postponed, UEFA pressured Dortmund to reschedule it as soon as possible as the full spring schedule left few opportunities elsewhere on the calendar.
The match was played just a day later after the bomb attack reportedly amid strong opposition from the Dortmund players, who ended up losing 2-3.
According to Gottschalk, a team meeting was held the morning after the bomb attack, with the club leaving it to the players whether or not they wanted to play that day.
Many players reportedly protested and were vehemently opposed to playing, with some even in tears.
Tuchel then allegedly addressed the crying players by saying: “And with these pussies I have to beat Bayern Munich?”
Bizarelly, Tuchel complained after the lost match against Monaco in front of the cameras about UEFA forcing them to play the match too quickly after the attack.
According to Gottschalk, who wrote about the Tuchel episode in his book “Kabinengefluester” (“Dressing room whispers”), this angered Watzke as the Dortmund coach has said before the match that he wanted his team to play and he was even looking forward to the “energy in the stadium”.
Watzke, who was given his share of the blame for the quick rescheduling of the match by the Dortmund fans, was not amused by Tuchel’s statement and reportedly accused him of privately saying one thing in internal meetings while then saying the exact opposite to the press.
Just a few weeks later Tuchel was fired after his team clinched the German Cup by beating Eintracht Frankfurt.