Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis has earned the A-League’s second ever Frownlow Medal Nomination after a racist remark directed at Besart Berisha.
Bouzanis referred to Albanian born Berisha as a “f….en gypsy” during a fiery derby in Melbourne, which City eventually lost to Victory.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. Kiwi international and Sydney Roosters player Shaun Kenny Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while Corey Norman from the Parramatta Eels won in 2016.
The keeper now faces disciplinary action from his club and from the governing body and may miss a number of games at a crucial time of the season.
Bouzanis is only the second A-League player to be nominated for the highly prestigious award after Victory player Daniel Georgievski scuffled with Brisbane fans following his team’s loss to the Roar at Suncorp Stadium in a previous season.
The Citizen faces tough competition for the 2017 medal from fellow footballers, who have been nominated for acts such as glassing a bikie, using cocaine, domestic violence and drunken bar fights.
First published in February 2017.