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Furore over deleted Pride Round post

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Apologetic Adelaide United teenager Musa Toure was told by club officials to remove a social media post saying he did not support the A-League’s pride round despite the Reds claiming to “respect individual beliefs”.

This weekend’s round of A-League matches is the competition’s official Pride Celebration, with the Pride Cup on offer at Saturday’s women’s and men’s double-header at Coopers Stadium between Adelaide and Melbourne Victory.

Earlier this week, Toure announced on Instagram that he and club’s other Muslim players “disagree” with pride round.

“For the Muslim brothers and sisters I’m an Adelaide United player but also I’m a Muslim before anything,” Toure said in his post.

“I do not support the pride round. I love football but I have no say … the Muslims in my team all disagree about the pride round but we also have no problem with the LGBTQ PEOPLE!! It’s their life.”

However, soon after Toure was told to delete the post by Reds officials.

“Adelaide United acknowledges a social media statement made by one of our players regarding pride round,” the Reds said in a statement.

“We respect individual beliefs, and we will continue to embrace diversity, and welcome individuals from all backgrounds.

“Our club is committed to inclusivity and respect for all, and through the pride round, we want to celebrate everyone, no matter who you are, who you love, or what faith you hold.

“We will continue educating players and staff about the significance of respecting diversity and promoting inclusivity, while fostering an environment where everyone feels valued, welcomed, and accepted.”

Adelaide’s men’s squad includes Josh Cavallo, who came out as the world’s first professional gay footballer in 2021, while the club’s women’s team goalkeeper Grace Wilson is non-binary.

Toure’s agent Fahid Ben Khalfallah said Toure would apologise to Cavallo.

“Musa made a mistake because he didn’t mean to say it that way,” Ben Khalfallah said.

“It’s a complicated subject. He didn’t mean to hurt anyone. He’s very remorseful about it.”

An Australian Professional Leagues spokesman said the A-League men’s and women’s competitions were “proud of the rich diversity our players and fans bring” to the competitions.

“Football should be a safe and welcoming sport for everyone, particularly for members of communities where this has traditionally not always been the case,” he said.

Professional Footballers Australia co-chief executive officer Beau Busch said: “We acknowledge and respect that people may hold different views. This is a long-term commitment, and we will continue … to provide guidance and support to all our members.

“Our aim is to reduce discrimination, increase education, and improve everyone’s experience when playing football so they feel safe, included, and welcome.”

Toure hasn’t played since injuring his quad in December but is available for selection on Saturday night.

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