Qatar FA denies racial abuse allegations by New Zealand

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Qatar FA claims that Yusuf Abdurisag was rather the victim of a racial abuse that led to New Zealand refusing to complete their friendly match against them

The Qatar Football Association (QFA) has denied allegations that Yusuf Abdurisag (23) used discriminatory language towards a player from the New Zealand team. 

The New Zealand team walked out of their friendly match at halftime on Monday in protest of an alleged racist comment. The QFA stated on Tuesday that Abdurisag was involved in a heated exchange where he was the target of racial slurs.

On Monday, New Zealand announced that their defender Michael Boxall, who has Samoan heritage, was subjected to a “significant racist insult” by an opponent during the Gold Cup warm-up match in Austria.

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“In any case, the QFA takes the allegations incredibly seriously and stands against racism in all its forms,” QFA added in a statement.

“The experience of racism should never be trivialised and remains a serious problem within the game.”

“The QFA encourages the international football community to do more to tackle racism and discrimination on and off the pitch.”

The football governing body of New Zealand announced on Monday that it will reach out to FIFA to discuss measures for protecting players from racism, in response to an incident that occurred during a match. 

This match was one of two games that were abandoned on the same day due to allegations of racism. The FA of Ireland also reported that their under-21 team had to abandon their match against Kuwait’s Olympic team after a Kuwait player directed racist language towards an Irish substitute. Racism has been a prominent issue in football recently. 

In an effort to combat this, FIFA president Gianni Infantino has established an anti-racism committee, which will be led by Vinicius Jr, a forward for Real Madrid who has personally experienced racist abuse in Spain’s LaLiga.

READ ALSO: New Zealand refuse to play second half of friendly against Qatar amid racism allegations

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