Was Lucas Neill in the wrong for abusing Aussie fans?
Socceroos captain Lucas Neill won’t apologise for hurling a round of abuse at booing fans during the team’s international friendly against Costa Rica on Tuesday night.
Australia nabbed a 1-0 win courtesy of a Tim Cahill goal in the 69th minute, but the new-Socceroos team under the recently hired Ange Postecoglou weren’t able to claim victory without a bit of controversy.
After being booed late in the game, Neill turned to face the guilty section of Sydney’s Allianz Stadium crowd, yelling 'what are you f..king booing for?'. The incident was caught on camera.
"Towards the end of the game I think a few people had some courage juice and they started to boo me and only me when I was on the ball and I can't tolerate that," Neill said on Wednesday.
"I'm Australian coming to Australia to play for Australia and to be booed by Australians, it's unacceptable.
"But what it is, and these guys don't understand, it's detrimental to the team.
"We've got a lot of young guys who have put in an amazing performance last night, we were winning a game 1-0 against a team that's qualified for the World Cup and we've put in a display that's worthy of plenty of cheer and to hear boos, it's unacceptable.
The 35-year-old defender hasn’t received a ton of positive media since Postecoglou took control of the national team. Among a number of squad changes has been the questioning of Neill’s leadership position ahead of next year’s World Cup.
"I can apologise for swearing but we have to stamp that kind of thing out now because this is an exciting time for Australia and unfortunately it's tarnished what should have been an exciting and amazing night for Ange Postecoglou and the Socceroos and Australia," Neill said.
Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop led the backlash brigade on Wednesday, calling Neill’s actions “unacceptable”.
The outspoken Mark Bosnich also chimed in, saying "People pay their money, they can do what they want."
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