Bouzanis banned for five weeks after offensive slur

Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis has been handed a five match suspension after calling Melbourne Victory's Besart Berisha a 'f**king gypsy' during last Saturday's Melbourne derby.

Bouzanis Berisha

Melbourne Cirt keeper Dean Bouzanis (left) and Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha have a heated exchange Source: Fox Sports

Bouzanis will next be eligible to play for City on March 24 against Western Sydney Wanderers. The suspension will mean he will miss matches against Brisbane Roar, Wellington Phoenix, Sydney FC, Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets. 

City will also face Brisbane without Tim Cahill, Bruno Fornaroli, Luke Brattan, Osama Malik, Fernando Brandan and Manny Muscat who are all suspended.

40-year-old former Denmark International Thomas Sorensen is expected to replace Bouzanis in the starting XI. 

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Reacting to the sanction, Bouzanis said; “I have accepted the sanction handed down this evening."

"I have apologised to Berisha and Melbourne Victory directly and I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my apology to the fans and the broader Australian football community.

"My future actions on and off the pitch will demonstrate I have learnt from this experience.”

Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop also spoke on the incident. 

“There is no doubt this is a serious offence and FFA reinforces its stance on the use of racial or other discriminatory remarks,” Gallop said.

“Football’s strength is its ability to unite people from all backgrounds and walks of life and we will not tolerate racial vilification in our sport. 

“In saying that, FFA commends the exemplary response of Melbourne City and Dean Bouzanis in immediately seeking to deal with the issue, recognising that the behaviour was unacceptable, showing genuine remorse, taking proactive steps to apologise in person to the opposition player involved and working with the PFA to learn from the incident and help educate the player.”

The Committee found that Bouzanis had committed the offence of "use of discriminatory language and/or gestures, including racist, religious, ethnic or sexist”. 

A five match ban is the minimum sanction prescribed when a player is found guilty of such an offense. 

The independent Disciplinary Committee which made the judgement was comprised of John Marshall SC (Chair), Anthony Lo Surdo SC and David Barrett. 




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Published 8 February 2017 at 7:38pm
Source: SBS