Feeling buoyant after Australia's resplendent 4-0 win over Jordan on Tuesday — which leaves the Socceroos three points away from automatic qualification to next year's World Cup Finals — manager Holger Osieck decided to treat journalists at a post-match press conference to the words of fourth-century archbishop St Ambrose: "Mulieres taceres in ecclesia."
Apropos of nothing, and with a large grin on his face, he translated the Latin phrase as "women should shut up in public."
The manager, who was Franz Beckenbauer's assistant when Germany won the World Cup in 1990, was still smirking when he claimed the quote would make him "the darling of all Australian wives," but the grin disappeared when he was forced to issue an apology. The Daily Mail reports:
'To everyone who may feel offended by that, I offer a sincere apology,' Osieck said today.
'It was off the record, it was more a funny remark.
'It was nothing against any women or whatever. Definitely just a complete misunderstanding.'
It's not clear why Osieck thought a comment made while taking his seat at a press conference would be "off the record," nor why he thought it was a "funny remark," but it turns out that the 64-year-old should have studied his Latin textbooks a little harder. "Mulieres taceres in ecclesia" actually means "women should stay silent in church," and was a fourth-century reference to the fairer sex singing Psalms with the choir.
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- Holger Osieck
- Franz Beckenbauer