Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis dives to save Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha's penalty in Saturday night's heated derby at Etihad Stadium.
Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis dives to save Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha's penalty in Saturday night's heated derby at Etihad Stadium. JOE CASTRO

Keeper says sorry for calling Berisha a 'gypsy'

MELBOURNE City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis has apologised for calling Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha a "f***ing gypsy" during his team's 2-1 derby loss on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.

Bouzanis and the Albanian went head to head all night.

First the keeper celebrated after saving a penalty from Berisha with the scores tied at 0-0.

Then Berisha had his moment when scoring the equaliser to make the scoreline 1-1.

Finally the Victory striker threw the ball at the City keeper after officials allowed Manny Muscat's own goal to stand in the dying minutes to give Victory the 2-1 win.

The keeper's reaction was caught on cameras but Melbourne City moved to calm the waters with an apology.

"Bouzanis admitted making the remarks out of ignorance; however, has since understood the seriousness of his comments," a club statement read.

"Once informed of the gravity of his actions, Bouzanis committed to redressing the offence at the earliest opportunity.

"He will issue a formal and personal apology to the player and begin an appropriate educational course to rectify the gaps in his understanding.

"The club regrets the incident and any offence caused."

Berisha was visibly upset after the final whistle and had to be consoled by Victory coach Kevin Muscat.

"When the opposition comes and tells you things, it's not easy," the striker said.

"I'm strong and will always prove people wrong.

"I'm really happy I stayed strong and scored the goal for my team."

Football Federation Australia will on Monday investigate the incident - along with Tim Cahill's red card for apparent dissent following the Victory's winner - in the course of its normal match review panel deliberations.

Cahill was shown red by referee Chris Beath before even entering the field of play as a substitute after the winning goal.

News Corp Australia


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