Pignata hits out at Twitter trolls

Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata has hit out at Twitter trolls who have taken aim at injured forward Ali Abbas as war of words erupted between Sky Blues and Wanderers’ fans on the social media service on Sunday.

Sydney forward Abbas has apparently a torn anterior cruciate and medial ligament during Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with Western Sydney following a tackle by Wanderer Iacopo La Rocca, with scans on Monday to determine the full extent of the injuries. 

La Rocca didn’t even receive a yellow card for the challenge – one which will rule Iraqi national Abbas out of the Asian Cup – allowing the FFA to step in and determine if any punishment if warranted. 

Even before he was injured, Abbas was a prime target for Wanderers fans at Pirtek Stadium after complaining of racial abuse during a Sydney Derby clash last season, although the complaint was never proven by the FFA. 

But having been forced off the field, Abbas copped it on Twitter as trolls – many of whom seemed to support Western Sydney – took aim at the injured player. 

In response to the attacks, Pignata made this statement through Twitter.

“We all love our teams and we are all passionate but some of the tweets directed at one of our players is appalling and unsportsmanlike,” he said, 

Pignata’s comments were more measured than some responses to the attacks on Abbas.