Abbas lodges complaint over alleged racist abuse
By Football News
Sydney FC's Ali Abbas has lodged a formal complaint to Football Federation Australia (FFA) regarding an alleged racist incident on Saturday.
Abbas claims to have been subjected to abuse regarding his cultural and religious background during his side's 3-1 derby victory over Western Sydney Wanderers at the Allianz Stadium, in which he scored the third goal with an injury-time penalty.
"We are not here to attack religion or culture, we are here to play football," the Iraq international told Fox Sports. "I come from a different country, I respect everyone here.
"I should get it (respect) back. If I don't get it back, I'm going to attack (speak out). That's what happened.
"If people attack religion, if people attack culture - I'm against that. We need to stop that."
Sydney chief executive Tony Pignata confirmed the club would pursue formal action with FFA on behalf of their player.
In a statement released to the media, he said: "We will be undergoing due process with FFA. We are asking 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."
Meanwhile, FFA confirmed the nature of the alleged abuse in a statement released later on Saturday.
"Sydney FC has confirmed it will lodge an official complaint on Monday over comments made to midfielder Ali Abbas during Sydney FC's 3-1 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers," it read.
"Abbas complained about comments made to him in relation to his cultural and religious background."
The complaint will be dealt with by the FFA's National Member Protection Policy, and could include mediation or referral to a disciplinary tribunal.