(Reuters) - The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) on Monday urged soccer fans across the country to condemn the racist abuse of players and eradicate it from the game after Adelaide United forward Kusini Yengi was targeted online.
The 22-year-old came on as a substitute before scoring a goal and setting up another in Adelaide's 3-1 A-League win at Melbourne Victory on Saturday.
He was later subjected to racist abuse on Instagram, with Adelaide Chief Executive Officer Nathan Kosmina saying in a statement https://www.adelaideunited.com.au/news/adelaide-united-condemns-online-racist-abuse-kusini-yengi the club was "appalled" by the comments and the incident was "immensely upsetting".
Melbourne also condemned the abuse in a statement https://www.melbournevictory.com.au/news/melbourne-victory-statement-0.
"Our game in this country has always been about diversity and it remains one of our greatest strengths," APL Managing Director Danny Townsend said in a statement https://www.a-league.com.au/news/apl-statement.
"We call upon all football fans across the country to condemn this type of racial abuse and eradicate it from any association with our game."
Townsend said the APL, which governs the A-League and women's W-League, is working with clubs, the players' body and police to identify and punish individuals responsible for the abuse.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)