BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – Colombia national team coach Hernan Dario Gomez expressed regret Monday after reports that he struck a woman in a bar, saying he lost control and lamented what happened.
Gomez issued a statement that stopped short of admitting he struck the woman in the Bogota bar on Saturday.
''Faced with the personal incident that took place Saturday, which has damaged me, I want to say publicly that I am profoundly sorry for this and for having lost control the way I did,'' Gomez said in a statement. ''I have always been a defender of women, and I admire and respect them. This act shames me with my mother, with my wife and with all the women in my family and in the country.''
Various reports Monday said he struck the woman, who reportedly confronted him, with witnesses saying she had been drinking.
Women's organizations in Colombia had demanded he resign as coach of the national team.
However Luis Bedoya, the president of the Colombian Football Federation, said Gomez's tenure as coach should not be at stake.
''I consider this a lamentable incident,'' Bedoya told the newspaper El Tiempo de Bogota. ''From the point of view of the federation, obviously we are not in accord with this. This is a personal act that one should not mix with Hernan Diaro Gomez's job as the national team coach.''