Another round of COVID-related postponements meant there were only two A-League Men games this weekend, and which one you saw depended on where you watched.
Openly gay professional footballer Josh Cavallo says he was the victim of homophobic abuse while playing for Adelaide United against Melbourne Victory in the A-League on Saturday night.
Cavallo has posted about his experience on Instagram, saying: “I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t see or hear the homophobic abuse at the game last night.
“There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was. As a society this shows we still face these problems in 2022.
“This shouldn’t be acceptable and we need to do more to hold this people accountable. Hate never will win.
“I will never apologise for living my truth and most recently who I am outside of football. To all the young people who have received homophobic abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing your dreams.
“Know that there is no place in the game for this. Football is a game for everyone no matter of who you are, what colour your skin is or where you come from.
“To @instagram I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that I’ve received. I knew truely being who I am that I was going to come across this. It’s a sad reality that your platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.
“Thank you to all the positive messages, love and support from people all around the world, seeing that far outweighs the negativity. To the individuals that reached out after making a stand at the game. I commend you. Thank you to those fans, you had me emotional.
“Love will always win.”
Cavallo made world headlines in October when he became the first male professional footballer to come out as gay while still playing.
He played 36 minutes off the bench in Adelaide’s 1-1 draw against Victory at Melbourne’s AAMI Park.
The Sydney Morning Herald, quoting club sources, said Cavallo also complained of similar homophobic abuse during United’s FFA Cup quarter-final loss to Victory on Wednesday night, which was played at Coopers Stadium in Adelaide.
The Professional Footballers’ Association released the following statement.
— The PFA (@thepfa) January 9, 2022
This was Football Australia’s response.
Football Australia stands with you, @JoshuaCavallo.
As one of the most diverse and inclusive sports in Australia, we must all work together to stamp out homophobia and abuse, and ensure football is a safe space for everyone. https://t.co/mDWG7QymiK
— Football Australia (@FootballAUS) January 9, 2022
Melbourne Victory’s response was brief and short on detail.
The Club is committed to celebrating diversity in football, and strongly condemns this behavior which has no place at our Club or in our game.
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) January 9, 2022