The New Zealand football team abandoned their friendly match against Qatar at halftime after accusing a Qatari player of making a racial remark to defender Michael Boxall.
Football New Zealand said in a statement on Tuesday that the team declined to play the second half of the match on Monday in Austria because the referee did nothing.
At the time of the event, New Zealand was up 1-0 in Ritzing.
When the New Zealanders claimed that Yousuf Abdurisag made a racial remark to Boxall, who is of Samoan descent, Qatar was given a free kick.
In the 40th minute, there was an altercation between the teams, and when New Zealand captain Joe Bell complained to referee Manuel Schuttengruber about it, he shook his head and said he would not punish Abdurisag.
NZPFA, the association for professional footballers in New Zealand, stated that it supported the players’ choice.
The NZPFA stated, “We have gotten in touch with the team and will work with NZ Football to support the players in any way necessary.” “Racism has no place in our sport.”
Andrew Pragnell, the CEO of New Zealand Football, also showed his support for his team.
In a statement, he said, “We never want to see a game called off, but some issues are bigger than football, and it is important to make a stand.”
“Words were exchanged.”
The captain of New Zealand told them of his team’s choice to stay away, according to Carlos Queiroz, the recently appointed coach of Qatar.
“The following are the facts: On the pitch, two players apparently had a verbal exchange’, Queiroz said. “The New Zealand players made the same decision to stand by their comrade as our team did to stand by our man.
“With no witnesses, they made the decision to end the game. It was only a dispute between two players; neither the referee nor the coach heard anything. I believe that this is a brand-new chapter in football and a circumstance that nobody can comprehend. Let the football authority decide what took place here,” he said to the Al Kass TV channel.
I believe that FIFA will be watching the players, but when I asked the coach and the referees, they said they had not heard anything.
Without providing any other information, the Qatar Football Association (QFA) announced on its Twitter account that New Zealand had withdrawn from the friendly.