Melbourne Victory has been fined by Football Australia over homophobic abuse directed at gay soccer player Josh Cavallo.
The fines relate to homophobic abuse that took place at a match on January 8th.
Openly gay soccer player Josh Cavallo played as a substitute during the match.
Melbourne Victory fined $5,000 for homophobic abuse towards Josh Cavallo
Following the game at AAMI Park on January 8th Josh Cavallo took to social media to address the homophobic slurs he heard during the match.
The openly gay player said he was “not going to pretend that I didn’t see or hear the homophobic abuse.”
He vowed to stand his ground and would “never apologise for living my truth.”
Following his statements, the Melbourne Victory were handed a show-cause notice by Football Australia over the behaviour of their fans at the match.
Football Australia has today issued the club with a $5,000 fine.
They announced the money from the fine will be used to “further invest in LGBTQ+ awareness and education initiatives in football.”
When issuing the fine Football Australia acknowledged the Melbourne Victory has denounced the actions of their fans.
They went on to acknowledge that the club would ban “any individuals identified as having engaged in the conduct.”
Homophobic slurs against Josh Cavallo ‘completely unacceptable’
James Johnson, Chief Executive of Football Australia has spoken out against the abuse when issuing the fine.
“To be clear, the actions of the spectators responsible for using homophobic slurs against Josh Cavallo were completely unacceptable,” he said.
“I want to thank Josh for his courage in calling out this unacceptable behaviour and the club for its swift and strong response.”
Johnson went on to warn fans of their conduct in the future.
“In issuing the sanction, Football Australia is warning all participants and fans of the need to work together.”
“To ensure everyone can freely participate in our sport regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ability or disability, cultural or religious background.”
He further recognised the actions of Melbourne Victory in response to the incident.
“The club provided a detailed submission, and it has taken a strong stance against anti-social behaviour – both by its actions before and after this incident.”
James Johnson went on to praise the positive supporters in the club who acted at the time “who showed their disdain for the incident” and helped to identify some of those responsible.
“We will continue to work with the club and the Australian Professional Leagues. To ensure that they – and any other individual identified as engaging in a discriminatory act like this at a match – are banned from attending future football matches in Australia.”
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