BAMBA: MY FAMILY SHAME OVER ‘CRAZY’ MOMENT -
CARDIFF City star Sol Bamba has opened up for the first time on just what happened with his red card rampage at Ipswich – and admitted he was left mortified when he realised his children had seen what he had done.
And he says he struggled to shake the disappointment of knowing friends and family simply didn’t recognise the “craziness” on the Portman Road pitch a month ago.
Bamba shocked Bluebirds fans – and manager Neil Warnock – when he flew into a rage against Ipswich when a poor challenge from Jonathan Douglas went unpunished, clashing with club staff and the fourth official before even grappling with his own boss.
It saw the imposing defender slapped with an FA charge, eventually seeing an extra game added to his two game ban, and left Warnock fuming with his players’ out-of-the-blue actions.
Bamba issued a public apology and was clearly upset at letting teammates and Warnock down that day, but it was nothing compared to his feelings of disappointment in himself as footage of the incident went widespread.
“It was a moment of craziness, I think I can call it that,” says Bamba, a warm and friendly character who is different to the enforcer on the pitch and completely removed from the frenzied figure at Ipswich that day.
“I thought it was a bad tackle – that’s not an excuse because I shouldn’t have reacted like that at all.
“But I’m a strong player and I always look to play the ball and with that one, I didn’t think it was the case.
“What happened, happened, but it shouldn’t have.
“When people around me saw the footage they didn’t understand, especially my children. I have three, the youngest being five, and they’d seen it because they were going to school with everyone talking about it. I couldn’t hide from it. I was embarrassed. Friends and families said that it’s not me, they didn’t recognise that person out there.”
Neither did Warnock. Though he was quick – and perhaps justified – to ask whether the referee could have avoided a reaction by pulling up Douglas for his foul, Bamba’s snap couldn’t have been seen coming.
Still, it was soon clear that not even a
tussle with the towering centre-back – who starred in defensive midfield in the last league outing against Aston Villa – would stop Warnock having one of his jokes.
He’d already said about wishing he’d been a foot taller to have been able to stop the man he signed on a free after a spell at Leeds ended.
“Luckily, the manager and the club were very supportive, just asking to make sure it never happens again, but friends and family were disappointed as I was in myself,” adds Bamba.
“I tried to explain to them that it was a bad reaction, something you cannot do.
“I had to tell them I had made a mistake and talk to them, make sure they didn’t do something like that. I was more disappointed for them.
“I let the team down and the club down because they had been magnificent with me, but it was my family seeing it. I can guarantee it won’t happen again. I have to move on and I can apologise with my performances.”
That is something Bamba has promised to the manager and others at the club after admitting he spoke to many to apologise, though believes that the best form of sorry can come through his displays.
He’s made a good start, his performance against Villa enhancing further his status as a firm fan favourite that seemed to come from just one game in a Bluebirds shirt after a colossal debut against Bristol City in Warnock’s first game in charge.
“It wasn’t bad I don’t think,” smiles Bamba, who turned 32 on the eve of the return game with the Robins in today’s Severnside derby. “But it is always more important that the team wins the game that your own performance.
“I have never been at a club where I have been welcomed as fast as I have here, it has all clicked for me. I think fans can see I give my best, but winning games is more important.”
Not many more so than one against Bristol City, now on level points in the table having been 12 points clear of Cardiff when the sides met in South Wales at the start of October.
“It’s massive I think,” says Bamba. “The lads were all saying yesterday it’s a six-point game. The fact it’s a derby makes it bigger, but we want the points on the board above all. We haven’t been able to pull clear yet and it’s a weird one because some of the performances have been very good, some others performances have not. We know what’s wanted from us and when we go out we need to deliver.
“The win against Villa can definitely give us confidence and we can build on that. In this league consistency, back to back wins are key, which is what we can do here. The second part of the season is massive for us and it starts here.”
Sol Bamba scores against Bristol City
Sol Bamba clashes with Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock during the extraordinary bust-up at Ipswich which saw the defender sent off