Adelaide United player Antony Golec was banned from playing at the weekend as part of a penalty from Football Federation Australia (FFA) for a homophobic slur on Twitter against an A-League referee.
Golec was slapped with a three-match ban, which meant he was not allowed to play in either United’s A-League clash on Friday night or in the National Youth League fixture on Sunday.
A ban of two further games will apply if he breaches the code of conduct again during the season or “fails to undergo appropriate counseling [sic] and education” by March 11.
“Adelaide United FC is tasked with ensuring that this is carried out in an appropriate manner,” FFA said in a statement last Friday.
“Compliance with this requirement, and accordingly whether the two-match suspension will be triggered, shall be determined by FFA in its sole discretion.”
On November 5, Golec attacked referee Ben Williams after he sent off two Melbourne Victory players during a game against the Brisbane Roar.
“Ben Williams you are gay, biggest homo going around, you gypsy,” he wrote on Twitter.
Golec said the comment was meant as a private message to his brother but was mistakenly placed on his public feed. He later deleted the tweet.
“As a consequence, the twitter was read by people to whom I never intended to publish what was a private exchange in which I attempted to be humorous,” Golec said in a press conference last week.
“I accept without reservation what I did was foolish and that as a consequence Ben Williams has every right to feel insulted and aggrieved.
“I unreservedly apologise to Ben.”
Golec said he had been told “in no uncertain terms” by Adelaide United officials that a further similar transgression would result in his contract being torn up.
“I have also been counselled as to how the misuse of social media can lead to the issues for the club and me personally,” he said.
“The club has told me that it’s up to me to regain the trust and confidence of the squad, I will do that.”
Golec also said he had written to Williams and hoped the referee would accept his apology.
Despite avoiding sanction from his club, Golec was issued with a “please explain” notice from FFA, which required he prove why he shouldn’t be disciplined.
They concluded he was in breach of the National Code of Conduct and issued his ban on Friday.