Football: NZ Football supports All Whites' decision to abandon match after alleged racial abuse

NZ Football boss Andrew Pragnell has thrown his support behind the All Whites' decision to abandon their match against Qatar after claims a player was racially abused.

All Whites defender Michael Boxall was allegedly the target of a racial slur made by opposition player Yousuf Abdurisag in their international friendly.

Michael Boxall.
Michael Boxall. Photo credit: Photosport

The incident occured in the 40th minute, with New Zealand holding a 1-0 lead after a goal by midfielder Marko Stamenic.

Boxall, and his teammates were visibly upset by what Abdurisag had said after Qatar were awarded a free-kick, but their pleas to the referee were ignored.

Instead, the players played through the next few minutes before halftime, only to refuse to come out for the second period in protest with no action taken.

The match was subsequently abandoned, with Qatar coach Carlos Queiroz telling Sky TV's broadcast he expects Fifa to investigate the incident.

Pragnell has saluted the All Whites players for taking a stand.

"We fully support the action of our players, who agreed collectively on this course of action," he said in a statement.

"We never want to see a match abandoned but some issues are bigger than football and it is important to make a stand.

"There is no room for racism in football."