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Bouzanis apologises for Berisha gypsy slur

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/02/2017 Ben McKay

Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis will undergo an education course after slurring Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha in Saturday night's A-League derby.

The gloveman has apologised to the Albanian for calling him a "f***ing gypsy" in heated scenes at Etihad Stadium.

The pair clashed all night, with Bouzanis saving a Berisha's penalty with the scores locked at 0-0.

After fluffing his lines, Berisha recovered to score an equaliser.

City protested vigorously at Berisha's role in Victory's winner; the season's leading scorer was in an off-side position when Manny Muscat scored the decisive own-goal.

After a conference between referees, the goal stood and Berisha reacted by celebrating in Bouzanis' face.

The custodian's reaction was unsavoury at the time but on Sunday morning, the club 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 close to tears after the final whistle and needed consoling by coach Kevin Muscat.

"When the opposition comes and tells you things, it's not easy," Berisha told Fox Sports.

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

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

FFA will investigate the incident - along with Tim Cahill's red card - on Monday in the course of its normal match review panel deliberations.

Cahill was dismissed by referee Chris Beath for dissent as he prepared to be a late substitute at Etihad Stadium.

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