Soccer-Melbourne Victory may face sanctions over homophobic abuse

by Reuters
Saturday, 15 January 2022 06:04 GMT

Jan 15 (Reuters) - Melbourne Victory could face sanctions after Football Australia issued a 'show cause' notice to the club on Saturday following the homophobic abuse directed at Adelaide United's Josh Cavallo by fans in an A-League match last week.

Cavallo, who became the first active A-League player to come out https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/cavallo-becomes-first-active-a-league-player-come-out-gay-2021-10-27 as gay in October, called out the abuse on Instagram, saying he had "no words" to describe his disappointment.

Adelaide and Victory released statements shortly after Cavallo's post, condemning the abuse and saying they were working with the Australian Professional Leagues to investigate.

Football Australia said they would consider the club's initial response and any other measures it takes before making a decision regarding the incident, which involved a "small contingent" of Victory supporters.

"I want to reiterate that this conduct is unwelcome in football," Football Australia CEO James Johnson said in a statement.

"Everyone should be able to enjoy participating in our sport regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ability or disability, cultural or religious background.

"I want to applaud Josh for his courage in calling out this behaviour. I also welcome the strong responses from Melbourne Victory, Adelaide United, the Australian Professional Leagues, and the broader football community towards this incident."

Victory have until 5 p.m. local time (0600 GMT) on Jan. 18 to respond to the notice.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.