Posted on June 20, 2023

New Zealand, Ireland Abandon Respective Men’s Soccer Matches After Alleged Racist Abuse

Lorenzo Reyes, USA Today, June 19, 2023

A pair of international men’s soccer matches were each abandoned Monday after two teams refused to take the pitch following separate instances of alleged racial abuse.

New Zealand Football confirmed that its side refused to take the pitch for the second half of its match against Qatar; and in the other match, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said its under-21 squad walked off the pitch following an alleged racist remark made by a Kuwaiti player toward a substitute.

Both matches were taking place in Austria, in separate cities. New Zealand was playing at the Sonnenseestadion in Ritzing and Ireland was playing at Parktherme Arena in Bad Radkersburg.

“Michael Boxall was racially abused during the first half of the game by a Qatari player,” the New Zealand federation said Monday in a tweet. “No official action was taken so the team have agreed not to come out for the second half of the match.”

The FAI said it “does not tolerate any racism towards any of our players or staff and will be reporting this serious matter to FIFA and UEFA.”


These are just the latest cases of a troubling trend of racism in soccer

The most recent notable case was Real Madrid’s star Brazilian forward Vinícius Júnior, who was met with racist taunts before getting off a team bus May 21 ahead of a game at Valencia. Then, during the match, fans continued the taunts and directed chants of “mono” — Spanish for “monkey” — at him in the 1-0 Valencia victory.

After the game, Vinícius posted a message on Instagram in which he called Spain a “country of racists” and called repeated actions of racism against him “inhuman.” {snip}