Melbourne Victory handed show cause notice after Josh Cavallo calls out homophobic abuse

The Australian Football Association (FA) has issued a notification to the Melbourne Victory after Adelaide United’s Josh Cavallo claimed he was subjected to homosexual abuse by the club’s fans during Saturday’s men’s Premier League match.

Cavallo, currently the only gay player in the world’s top-tier men’s soccer, came on as a 54th-minute substitute at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

The public abuse came just over two months after the 22-year-old made international headlines and received global support when he appeared across social media and Adelaide United’s online channels on October 27.

The Football Association handed Victory a notice of reason for the bid on Saturday, under the National Code of Conduct and Ethics.

The Football Association described the incident as involving a “small squad” of Al-Nasr supporters.

Its chief executive, James Johnson, said fans’ behavior was “unwelcome in football”.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy participating in our sport regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, disability, cultural or religious background,” he said in the federation’s statement.

“I would like to commend Josh for his courage in invoking this behaviour. I also welcome the strong responses from Melbourne Victory, Adelaide United, the APL and the wider football community to this incident.

“Australian Football is committed to ensuring that we provide an inclusive environment for all participants, both on and off the field.

“These examples underscore that as Australia’s most diverse, diverse and inclusive sport, we must continue to do more to harness the power of football to promote social cohesion and inclusion.”

Victory will have until 5 PM EST on Tuesday to respond to the notice.

Cavallo took to Instagram last Sunday to express his disappointment with the fans’ behavior.

“I won’t pretend I didn’t see or hear gay abuse at the game last night,” Cavallo wrote.

“There are no words to tell you how disappointed I am. As a society, it shows that we still have these problems in 2022.

“This should not be acceptable and we need to do more to hold this (sic) people accountable. Hate will never win.

“I will never apologize for living with who I am and lately for who I am outside of football.”

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