SportsNew Zealand Football To Contact FIFA Over Player Protection Amidst Racism Concerns

New Zealand Football To Contact FIFA Over Player Protection Amidst Racism Concerns

June 20, (THEWILL) – New Zealand Football has announced plans to reach out to FIFA in an effort to safeguard players against racism, following their decision to abandon a friendly match against Qatar at half-time due to an alleged racial slur.

The NZF revealed that a Qatari player directed a “racist slur” at Michael Boxall, who has Samoan heritage, with several New Zealand players attesting to hearing the offensive remark. Referee Manuel Schuttengruber was seen engaging in a discussion with New Zealand captain, Joe Bell, before signalling the end of the first half. NZF stated on social media that, “No official action was taken,” prompting the team to agree not to resume the match.

NZF General Manager, Pragnell, expressed the need for stronger regulations, stating: “More needs to be done to protect players from racial attacks on the field.” However, in response to the incident, Qatar Head Coach, Carlos Queiroz, supported his player, acknowledging that an exchange of words had taken place, emphasising that the decision should be left to football authorities. The match, held in Austria, was coincidentally preceded by the cancellation of a Republic of Ireland Under-21 game due to an alleged racist comment.

The Football Association of Ireland denounced racism and confirmed they would report the incident to FIFA and UEFA. The Kuwait Football Association denied the accusations, claiming that the match was stopped in the 70th minute due to excessive roughness and player tension.

FIFA, which recently reinforced its zero-tolerance policy against discrimination, is awaiting official reports before determining the next course of action.

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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.

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Jude Obafemi, THEWILLhttps://thewillnews.com
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.

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