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A group of fans from one of Australia’s most famous football clubs are under investigation after allegedly racially abusing an Indigenous player from a rival team. 

Jack Stewart, 24, who plays for APIA Leichhardt, was allegedly subjected to a number of vile slurs from supporters of Sydney United 58 at the Sydney United Sports Centre in Sydney’s west on Sunday during the NSW National Premier League round three clash.

A furious Stewart lodged a complaint to match officials at fulltime after allegedly being targeted throughout the match.

The abuse the teacher from Oakhill College in Sydney’s north-west was subjected to included: ‘Go play with your sticks’ and being called a ‘dirty Aboriginal c**t.’ 

The only Aboriginal player in the semi-professional competition was also the subject of homophobic slurs – despite being heterosexual.

APIA Leichhardt footballer Jack Stewart was allegedly subjected to a number of racist and homophobic slurs last weekend from Sydney United 58 fans

APIA Leichhardt footballer Jack Stewart was allegedly subjected to a number of racist and homophobic slurs last weekend from Sydney United 58 fans

The 24-year-old is proud of his Aboriginal roots and lodged an on-field complaint to match officials at fulltime after being targeted (pictured, playing for Mt Druitt Town in 2022)

The 24-year-old is proud of his Aboriginal roots and lodged an on-field complaint to match officials at fulltime after being targeted (pictured, playing for Mt Druitt Town in 2022)

The alleged abuse was also homophonic despite Stewart not being gay (pictured left)

The alleged abuse was also homophonic despite Stewart not being gay (pictured left)

Stewart's formal complaint he lodged with Football NSW officials after the match versus Sydney United 58 concluded

Stewart’s formal complaint he lodged with Football NSW officials after the match versus Sydney United 58 concluded

‘You stink.’ ‘Go s..k your boyfriend’s d..k you f****t.’ ‘You should be carrying your rainbow flag, you bitch’, were other slurs Stewart allegedly copped.

Stewart also detailed in his written complaint a fan allegedly said: ‘Come spit on my d..k you f****t; you would love that?

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Sydney United 58 are one of Australia’s most decorated football clubs, having produced Socceroos such as Robbie Slater, Graham Arnold, Tony Popovic and Mile Jedinak.

They were a powerhouse in the now defunct National Soccer League, which was replaced by the A-League in 2005. 

The Reds also were finalists in the Australia Cup in 2022, losing the final to A-League club Macarthur FC, who at the time were coached by Manchester United legend Dwight Yorke. 

Football NSW has launched an immediate investigation into the matter involving Stewart. 

‘Football NSW has received an allegation of racial abuse during the round three NPL NSW men’s match between Sydney United 58 and APIA Leichhardt FC,’ a statement read.

‘Football NSW has opened an investigation into the alleged incident and is working with both clubs.

‘Football NSW adopts a zero-tolerance policy to disrespectful or offensive behaviour at sanctioned events and is committed to promoting a safe and enjoyable environment for all football participants.’

Sydney United 58 are one of Australia’s most decorated football clubs, having produced Socceroos such as Robbie Slater, Graham Arnold and Mile Jedinak (pictured, supporters at the Australia Cup Final last October)

Football Australia are also across the matter, releasing their own statement on Thursday.

‘Football Australia has been informed by Football NSW that they have received an allegation of racial abuse during the Round 3 NSW NPL Men’s match between Sydney United 58 FC and APIA Leichhardt FC on the weekend of February 18-19, 2023.

‘Football NSW has taken immediate action and has opened an investigation into the alleged incident. Both clubs have been notified and are fully cooperating with the investigation. 

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‘Football Australia will provide any necessary support to Football NSW as it investigates the allegations. It will also be monitoring the investigative process and outcome to consider any implications on existing sanctions against the club.

‘Football Australia and Football NSW have reiterated their commitment to a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of disrespectful, discriminatory or offensive behaviour at sanctioned events. 

‘Football Australia and its Member Federations are committed to ensuring that all football participants are able to compete and enjoy the game in a safe and inclusive environment.

‘Football Australia remains committed to promoting a safe and enjoyable environment for all football participants.

‘The national governing body takes all allegations of discriminatory behaviour seriously and encourages anyone who has witnessed or experienced such to come forward and report it to the relevant authorities.’

It also isn’t the first time ‘fans’ from Sydney United 58 have generated unwanted headlines.

At the Australia Cup final last October, some supporters could be heard singing during the national anthem and the traditional Welcome to Country ahead of the kick-off against Macarthur FC.

The chanting and singing was clearly audible during the Channel 10 broadcast and prompted an angry backlash on social media.

In the same game, pictures of fans with their right arm raised in what appeared to be a Nazi salute quickly went viral.

And in April of 2021, fans from Sydney United and Rockdale were banned from attending games for the rest of the season following a wild brawl on Anzac Day at the Ilinden Sports Centre.

Three spectators were taken to hospital after spectators stormed the pitch.

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Riot squad police were also called at the time as the ugly situation threatened to rapidly escalate between the two rival supporter groups soon after fulltime.

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