October 1, 2023

NZ friendly abandoned after alleged racism

The match between New Zealand and Qatar was stopped after the first half.

Michael Boxall at an All Whites training at Mt Smart Stadium Auckland in March. Joe Bell behind. (Photo: Shane Wenzlick/Phototek)

New Zealand confirmed the news on Twitter, saying central defender Michael Boxall was racially abused.

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

According to NZ news outlet Stuff the incident occurred in the 40th minute.

Qatari player Yousuf Abdurisag made a comment to Boxall which angered the All Whites after Qatar won a free-kick, according to the website.

Stuff writes that Qatari coach Carlos Queiroz has said in a tv interview he did not hear the exchange between the players, and that they believe their teammate.

“They decided to abandon the game with no witnesses. The referee did not listen [to what was said]. It’s just an argument between two players.” Queiroz said according to Stuff.

“I think is a new chapter in football which is for sure something nobody can understand. Let’s let the football authorities make a decision. I think this game will be under observation from Fifa for sure.”

New Zealand were leading the friendly 1-0 after the first half in Austria, following a Marko Stamenic goal.

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