Friedhelm Funkel has caused a stir with his post-match comments after FC Köln's 3-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
|Friedhelm Funkel.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche|
"Leverkusen have this tremendous pace. Due to their... yes, there are one or two expressions you're not allowed to use any more. Due to their players, who are just so fast," remarked Funkel cryptically after his first game in charge as Köln coach.
The 67-year-old left many observers wondering what exactly he meant to say, with some interpreting it as a barely concealed racist remark directed at Bayer Leverkusen wingers Leon Bailey and Moussa Diaby, who had both scored.
Funkel, however, denies that was his intention.
"In the interview with Sky after the game this evening, I only referred to the enormous speed of Leverkusen's players, nothing else was meant, I didn't want to say anything else," said Funkel in a statement posted by FC Köln on Saturday.