Football Australia has slapped Melbourne Victory with a $5000 fine, following a group of fans hurling homophobic slurs at Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo.

According to The Age, Football Australia (FA) will use the $5000 fine to “further invest in [LGBTQI] awareness and education initiatives in soccer.”

The FA gave Melbourne Victory a “show-cause notice” and could penalise the club for its fans shouting homophobic insults at the 22-year-old defender.

Despite this, the FA praised the “league leaders for condemning the incident” and “[weeding] out the culprits.”

The Melbourne Victory fans yelled the abuse at Cavallo during a match on Saturday, January 8.

Shortly after, Cavallo called out the abuse via social media and was greeted with support from celebrities, athletes, and members of the LGBTQI community and its allies.

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‘Slurs Against Josh Cavallo Were Completely Unacceptable’

Melbourne Victory is still investigating and identifying all the perpetrators. Once they are identified, it will ban them from attending any future matches.

The FA’s CEO, James Johnson, said the organisation “looks at all incidents on a case-by-case basis” and it will “take into consideration the totality of the situation and behaviours.”

“This is not a situation where the club has been sitting on its hands,” Johnson said. “The club provided a detailed submission, and it has taken a strong stance against anti-social behaviour – both by its actions before and after this incident.”

He said it was a “small number of individuals” behaving inappropriately.

“To be clear, the actions of the spectators responsible for using homophobic slurs against Josh Cavallo were completely unacceptable,” he added.

The FA issued a statement in which it wrote specific points to be considered when deciding on a punishment for the perpetrators.

It wrote that there needs to be a commitment to “work with supporters to take additional steps to educate fans about diversity and inclusion.”

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Melbourne Victory Supporters Helped Identify the Offenders

It is also acknowledged that “numerous Melbourne Victory supporters” had shown “disdain for the incident” and helped with identifying the offenders.

“Football Australia is a founding member of Pride in Sport and will continue to work with [Melbourne Victory] to help support the Australia Professional Leagues and its clubs,” Johnson said.

He continued, “In issuing the sanction Football Australia is warning all participants and fans of the need to work together to ensure everyone can freely participate in our sport regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ability or disability, cultural or religious background.

“We will continue to work with the A-League clubs and the Australian Professional Leagues to create a safe and inclusive environment for all involved, whether on or off the field.”

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