Sydney FC will lodge an official complaint with Football Federation Australia after midfielder Ali Abbas was allegedly subjected to racial and cultural abuse in Saturday night’s A-League derby clash with Western Sydney.
It’s understood the FFA’s imminent investigation will centre on one unnamed Wanderers player.
Abbas complained that slurs were made against him in relation to his cultural and religious background during Saturday night’s heated clash.
Sydney FC and the FFA both released statements on Sunday confirming that an official complaint will be made on behalf of Abbas, who was born in Iraq and became an Australian citizen in 2012.
“We will be undergoing due process with FFA,” Sydney chief executive officer Tony Pignata said in a statement on Sunday.
“We ask that the privacy of Ali Abbas is respected at this time and no further comment will be made while the complaint procedure takes it course.”
The FFA said in a statement that it had received advice from Sydney FC that the formal complaint would be made and the matter would be dealt with under the game’s National Member Protection Policy.
Once the complaint is lodged, the FFA will launch a confidential investigation into the incident.
Possible outcomes include mediation or referral to a disciplinary tribunal.
Never want to see racism against anyone, but after everything he’s been through, huge shame if Ali Abbas was abused. http://t.co/mlkS91hCsR
— Huw Bonello (@Huw_Bonello) March 9, 2014
Former Socceroo John Aloisi urged the FFA to stamp out such behaviour.
Abbas had to be restrained by teammates as he reacted angrily with Western Sydney Wanderers players – and ex-Melbourne Heart manager Aloisi said the game must act, with racism a global problem for soccer.
“He came out after the game and said it was (about his) culture and he talked about his religion, and (how) he doesn’t like anyone attacking that,” Aloisi said on Channel 9.
“If that is the case, they need to stamp it out. The FFA need to come out and investigate.
“Abbas needs to go to the match officials (and say) ‘this happened and can someone do something about it’? Because there’s no room for it in our game.
“We’re trying to stamp it out. And (the players) have to set a good example.
“I know (the excuses): the heat of the battle, (a crowd of) 40,000, great atmosphere. But you can’t be racially abusive.”
Abbas sealed the 3-1 win converting a penalty in injury time in what was an action-packed second half, but his allegations have soured what was a momentous victory for Sydney.
When was asked about his outburst in a post-match interview on Saturday, he said it was due to comments that were made about his ethnic background and his religion but didn’t reveal who made them or when they took place.
“We are not here to attack religion or culture, we are here to play football,” he told Fox Sports.
“I come from a different country, I respect everyone here. I should get it back. If I don’t get it back, I’m going to attack.
“That’s what happened.
“If people attack religion, if people attack culture – I’m against that.
“We need to stop that.”