New Zealand cancels friendly against Qatar over racism allegations

According to their own statements, the New Zealanders did not appear in the second half of the game in Ritzing, Austria, on Monday evening.

“Michael Boxall was racially insulted by a Qatari player in the first half. No official action has been taken so the squad have agreed not to come out for the second half again,” the NZ FA tweeted. The 34-year-old central defender Boxall plays in American Major League Soccer for FC United Minnesota.

Alleged racism incident: New Zealand cancels friendly

What exactly happened remained unclear for the time being. In a tweet, the Qatar Association only commented on the withdrawal of the All Whites. New Zealand pulled out of a friendly in preparation for the Gold Cup, sources said. There was initially no comment on the allegations.

According to the “New Zealand Herald”, the incident is said to have occurred in the 40th minute, but was not caught by cameras. After a free-kick for Qatar, Boxall reportedly went to the referee and fouled Yusuf Abdurisag and said something to him while he was still on the ground. Abdurisag is said to have stood up and said something to Boxall again, whereupon half of the New Zealanders reacted and complained to the referee before the break went on and the New Zealanders stayed in their dressing room.

Hank Peter

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