FERW vehemently condemns the shocking incident of alleged racism that recently marred a football match in New Zealand. The distressing incident, which occurred during a game between Wanaka and Roslyn Wakari in Dunedin, has sparked widespread outrage and calls for immediate action to address the issue.

Reports indicate that Daniel Lourenço, a talented Brazilian footballer representing Wanaka, was allegedly subjected to a racial slur by a spectator during the first half of the match at Ellis Park. Although Lourenço himself did not hear the offensive comment due to his unwavering focus on the game, his supportive teammates were quick to respond and confronted the individual responsible for the racial abuse. However, the consequence of this reprehensible act was a mere yellow card shown to one of Lourenço’s teammates.

FERW firmly denounces such abhorrent behavior, emphasizing that racism has no place in sports or society at large. The organization is deeply troubled by this incident and urges all stakeholders to take immediate and decisive action to address the prevailing issue of racism within the beautiful game.

Daniel Lourenço, in an exclusive statement, expressed his gratitude for the support of his teammates, saying, “I’m the only Brazilian on my team, and when I arrived, they always supported me even though I couldn’t speak English very well. I feel glad that they stood up for me when it all happened.” Lourenço’s resilience and determination to continue pursuing his passion for football despite the incident deserve admiration and support.

FERW acknowledges the submission of video evidence to New Zealand Football for review and urges a thorough investigation into the alleged incident. It is imperative that football authorities, including Southern Football, take swift and robust action to address the issue and ensure that such incidents are not tolerated in the future. The organization strongly emphasizes the need for proactive measures to cultivate an inclusive and respectful environment where every individual, regardless of their background, can participate freely in the sport they love.

This disturbing incident serves as a stark reminder that racism continues to plague football. It comes on the heels of a recent incident where the All Whites had to abandon their match against Qatar due to an alleged racial slur directed at defender Michael Boxall. FERW recognizes that these incidents are not isolated and underscores the urgent need for collective action to eradicate racism from the sport.

FERW remains unwavering in its commitment to combat racism, discrimination, and all forms of injustice. The organization calls on football associations, clubs, players, officials, and fans worldwide to unite against racism and work towards fostering an environment where diversity, equality, and respect prevail.

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