Sport Football Sydney’s Ali Abbas hits out at religious abuse

Sydney’s Ali Abbas hits out at religious abuse

Ali Abbas (right) is restrained by teammate Hagi Gligor.
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Sydney FC midfielder Ali Abbas has made claims cultural and religious slurs were made against him during a heated derby with fierce rivals Western Sydney.

Tensions boiled over in the dying minutes of Sydney’s 3-1 win at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

Abbas, who was born in Iraq and became an Australian citizen in 2012, was visibly furious, with teammates and stand-in captain Sasa Ognenovski needing to restrain him.

Abbas sealed the win converting a penalty in injury time in what was an action-packed second half, but his allegations threaten to sour what was a momentous victory for his side.

When was asked about his outburst in a post-match interview 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.”

Sydney coach Frank Farina also copped a spray from Abbas who vented his frustrations to the coaching staff on the bench.

While saying he wouldn’t tolerate that from his player Farina insisted he was unaware what prompted the outburst, putting it down to the heated nature of the derby.

“I don’t know about that, he hasn’t said anything to me,” Farina said.

“I don’t want to talk about that stuff to spoil a good night.

“As far as I’m concerned it was a game played in good spirit.

“He (Abbas) was alright. I told him if he ever shouted at me again I’d poke his eyes out.

“They were all wound up, (Matthew) Juram got wound up a few of their players got wound up, but that, my friends, is the derby.”