Velez Sarsfield boss Omar De Felippe quits after supporter spits on him
Velez Sarsfield coach Omar De Felippe has resigned after being spat on by a fan of the Superliga Argentina side.
De Felippe has decided to step down after 31 games in charge of Velez following his side's 2-0 league defeat at home to second-placed Union de Santa Fe on Monday.
"I'm leaving because of what happened on the pitch," De Felippe said in his postmatch news conference. "A fan spat at me. I can't stand that. I can't put up with a stupid person spitting at me. Better to leave now."
Monday's result was Velez's 11th loss of the season and their second straight defeat in the league after a dismal performance in a 4-0 loss at Gimnasia La Plata a week earlier that had left De Felippe under pressure.
Velez had previously been eliminated from the Copa Argentina following a 1-0 quarterfinal loss at Atletico Tucuman.
"It's a pity because one does so much to arrive at this club and things didn't go as I thought they would," De Felippe said. "But results dictate and today I need to leave in order to defuse the situation.
"This is a fine institution. I wish all the best to this club and I thank the players, who are improving. I also thank the club and its executives. Thank you to those that supported us and to those who didn't, they have to understand that there is a thorny road ahead and in this way they don't help the players."
The 55-year-old took the helm of Velez on Sept. 30, 2016, as a replacement for Christian Bassedas. De Felippe had coached Olimpo de Bahia Blanca, Quilmes and Independiente in Argentina's top flight.
Velez, who finished 19th in the 2016-17 campaign, have won three and lost four of their opening eight league games this season.
Club president Raul Gamez spoke after Monday's game and said that he would try to convince De Felippe to reconsider and that he was the one to blame.
"I'm responsible," he said. "But I will not resign as there are five days to go before the [club's presidential] elections. I'm not a coward. I'm going to fight for him to stay."
De Felippe, however, said his decision was irreversible.
"There's no turning back," he said. "I wish all the best to this club."
Velez are eight points clear of the relegation zone in 18th place in the 28-team Superliga Argentina standings.
They are expected to name a new coach after the club's presidential elections on Saturday, with Gamez not running for re-election.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.