Sydney FC’s Iraqi midfielder Ali Abbas has claimed he was verbally abused on racial, religious and cultural grounds during Saturday’s derby against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Abbas had to be restrained by team-mates in the final 10 minutes of the derby clash at Allianz Stadium, visibly fuming at the treatment he’d received from opponents.
While the Iraqi had been involved in a handful of physical clashes, he revealed post-game to Fox Sports the source of his anger was verbal abuse.
"We are not here to attack religion or culture; we are here to play football," Abbas 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."
Abbas, who netted his side's third goal from the penalty spot, did not name which opposition player he alleges racially abused him.
Sydney officials are expected to meet with the midfielder on Sunday to discuss whether he wants to take the matter further.
Asked about the flash-point, Sydney coach Frank Farina said: "I don't want to talk about that stuff and spoil a good night. As far as I'm concerned it was a game played in good spirit.
"If there is anything I'm sure it will be sorted out by other people. Certainly not from my side."
When asked what Abbas said when he came across to the bench, Farina said: "He was alright. (But) I told him if he ever shouted at me again I'd poke his eyes out.
"Look, they were all wound up. Matty Jurman got a bit wound up, a few of their players got wound up ... but that my friends is a derby.
"All the other stuff that is going to be mentioned, I don't think it should come into it.
"The game is finished, there's no real malice or anything happening out there."
The incident overshadowed a pulsating fightback from the Sky Blues, who posted their first derby win in over 500 days.
Despite going behind to a Shinji Ono striker early in the second half, a Vedran Janjetovic penalty save two minutes later swung the momentum in the home side's favour.
Goals to Jurman, Richie Garcia and a late penalty to Abbas sealed a vital win for the Sky Blues, who are now fourth and just three points behind their fierce rivals.
"We could have easily been 2-0 down and I think that was probably the real turning point," Farina said of Janjetovic's penalty stop.
"That not only lifted us as a playing group but the supporters as well. We went on with t from there.
"We've got some good pros, experienced players and leaders in the team and tonight they showed all those qualities which you need if you're going to be winning games and successful."
The only concern for Sydney is a possible hamstring problem for skipper Alessandro Del Piero, who went off early in the second half, although Farina insists it was just precautionary.comments