Coach Renan Dal Zotto has been suspended by the FIVB for improper conduct during his team’s tie-break win against Russia on Wednesday and as a result will not coach the squad in its game against Team USA. The FIVB stated that the coach deliberately dropped a ball into the court during the closing minutes of the match in order to deceive the game’s referees. Watch below a video of the incident. Note that the game was at 14-11 in favor of the Brazilian squad, and Maxim Mikhaylov ended up saving a match point:
Renan told Globo.com that his actions was unintentional:
“It was an extremely tense, nervous game where we were losing 2-0 and it took a superhuman effort to turn around and win a game that was be decisive for our trajectory in the competition. In the last points, taken by a huge surge of adrenaline, at the height of the tension of the final stretch of the game, I ended up releasing a ball, unintentionally, that went towards the court. That ball did not interfere in anything, nor changed the tempo of the game, but the FIVB thought it better to suspend me for a match. We do not agree with the decision, it was a strict punishment, but we respect the decision.”
Brazil will be coached by assistant Marcelo Fronckowiak against the USA. Both teams are already qualified for the semifinals.
Renan is the 2nd coach to be suspended for a match in this tournament, joining his fellow South American Julio Velasco of Argentina, who was suspended in the 2nd round.