Qatar’s national football body says Yusuf Abdurisag denies using racist language against All Whites defender Michael Boxall during the abandoned match in Austria.
Instead, the Qatar Football Association says Abdurisag has stressed that he was the victim of racial abuse during the match.
Main photo: Yusuf Abdurisag … says he was racially abused during the game.
Meanwhile, the president of the QFA, H.E. Jassim bin Rashid Al Buenain, has issued a personal statement saying:
“Everyone at QFA stands with Yusuf Abdurisag Yusuf and strongly condemns the unwarranted attention he has received in the past 24 hours.
“The QFA has consistently promoted multicultural values in its programmes and initiatives, and for decades our national football team has competed around the world without any member, whether playing or non-playing, facing accusations of discriminatory behaviour.
“Furthermore, several athletic events have been held in Qatar without similar incidents. The QFA remains fully committed to supporting Yusuf at this time.”
In the formal statement released by the QFA, the organisation says it takes the allegations seriously and stands against racism in all its forms.
After the match was called off on Tuesday (June 20), New Zealand football said Boxall, who is of Samoan heritage, had been subjected to a “significant racist slur” during the match.
When the referee and match officials declined to take action, the New Zealand team decided at half-time not to resume the game.
Here’s the QFA’s statement in full:
“With reference to the “A” representative team match between Qatar and New Zealand played on 19 June 2023, the QFA would like to clarify the widespread media allegations as follows.
“QFA’s player Yusuf Abdurisag Yusuf confirmed an exchange of words with an opponent in the heat of the moment shortly before half-time.
“Yusuf stressed that no racial or discriminatory language was used or directed towards any player of the New Zealand team.
“In the contrary, Yusuf stressed that, in fact, he himself was racially abused during the match.
“In any case, the QFA takes the allegations incredibly seriously and stands against racism in all its forms.
“The experience of racism should never be trivialised and remains a serious problem within the game.
“As such, the QFA encourages the international football community to do more to tackle racism and discrimination on and off the pitch.”