Young midfielder Fin Conchie has been stood down from the Wellington Phoenix reserves team indefinitely, pending disciplinary action from Capital Football.
Conchie (19) has admitted verbally abusing a Petone FC player in the second-half of the reserves’ Central League match at Memorial Park on Saturday evening.
While the match officials didn’t hear what was said, Conchie has informed the club his comments were homophobic.
The New Zealand U-20 international met Phoenix staff today to apologise for his behaviour.
Main photo: Fin Conchie … will accept whatever punishment he receives.
“Fin is very apologetic and accepts his comments are completely unacceptable,” director of football Shaun Gill said.
“Homophobic abuse or abuse of any kind simply isn’t tolerated and in no way reflects the values of the club.
“Fin acknowledges this and is prepared to accept any punishment that comes his way.
“He is genuinely sorry for what he’s said and wants to own his mistake. Fin has agreed for us to speak out publicly so his teammates aren’t suspected of doing anything wrong.”
While the Phoenix believe Conchie’s actions are out of character and aren’t reflective of the club’s culture, it will review its processes to ensure homophobic abuse is stamped out of football.
“We believe there needs to be further education for our young footballers in Aotearoa,” Gill said.
“We have a sports psychologist and a chaplain at the academy, but it’s clear we need to do more.
“We will review all of our processes and will work with Rainbow Youth to ensure we’re better at educating our young players.”
While Fin Conchie will be unable to play for the Phoenix reserves for the foreseeable future, he will continue to train with the reserves and the first team.
“Fin is still part of our club and we recognise we have a duty of care to continue to support him in his personal development.
“He is a young man who has made a mistake, but we as a club are also responsible so we’ll work together to ensure there’s no repeat of such behaviour at the Wellington Phoenix.”
Capital Football are investigating the incident which held up a Central League game for 10 minutes after Conchie directed abuse at a Petone player.
In a statement to Stuff, a spokesman for Capital Football said:
“Capital Football are aware of an incident and will be following the process set out within the Playing Regulations and Disciplinary Code whilst working with both clubs involved.”
Petone FC secretary Barry Pickering told Stuff there was “an unsavoury verbal tirade” towards one of their players.
”We are taking this incident very seriously and are following up so that it is dealt with appropriately through the proper channels.”
The incident happened in the 71st minute of the match, won 3-1 by the Phoenix reserves.