Moss apologises for Sydney Olympic race slur

Under fire Central Coast Mariners coach, Phil Moss, has apologised for saying he was denied a playing contract at Sydney Olympic because he wasn’t born in Greece.

Last week’s Daily Telegraph article sparked an immediate reaction from the Olympic faithful who published a list of their playing roster from the period – many such as Brett Emerton, Nick Carle and Ante Juric were not Greek.

In the piece Moss was quoted as saying: “There was an experience at Sydney Olympic when I was offered a contract and then it was reneged because it was discovered that I wasn’t born in Greece.

“They were the dark old days of Australian football.”

The incident inflamed sensitivities regarding the old National Soccer League and many of the football clubs nurtured by Australia's immigrant communities.

Sydney Olympic has since responded, saying it accepts the coach's apology and again underlining its non-discriminatory heritage and proud history of developing footballers.

Moss, who said his comments were taken out of context, met with Olympic’s management to offer an olive branch. The A-League outfit followed up with a statement on their website on Tuesday.

‘Moss acknowledges that he made an error of judgement in making the comments, but feels that they were taken out of context in the final article,” the statement read.

“At no stage did I intend to offend Sydney Olympic, its supporters, administrators, coaches, players, or volunteers," Moss added.

“I have the utmost respect for Sydney Olympic and bear them no ill-will. They are one of the grand clubs of Australian football, and an important part of the game in this country.

“I have a Greek-Australian partner and many friends with Greek heritage, so it was an error of judgement on my part for which I apologise.”

Olympic responded with their own statement on Tuesday:

“Yesterday evening, Central Coast Mariners Head Coach, Phil Moss, contacted members of the Sydney Olympic FC Board of Directors and apologised following comments he made to The Daily Telegraph, which were published in its newspaper last Wednesday, 8 October.

“The Club was disappointed with the suggestion made by Mr Moss in the Daily Telegraph article relating to circumstances in the late 1990's that it had discriminated against a prospective player on the basis of race. 

“Sydney Olympic FC has never before discriminated against a group or an individual on the basis of race, and never will. In fact, it has a proud tradition of promoting players and coaches from all around the globe. 

“Sydney Olympic FC acknowledges and accepts Phil Moss' apology.

“The Club is amongst the most successful in Australian football history and is proud of its progressive and inclusive approach that drives its continued success both on and off the pitch.”