Reds to work with young gun after anti-pride comments

Anna Harrington |

Adelaide United’s Musa Toure has come under fire for his comments about the A-Leagues’ pride round.
Adelaide United’s Musa Toure has come under fire for his comments about the A-Leagues’ pride round.

Adelaide United’s Musa Toure “made a mistake” when he said he didn’t support the A-Leagues’ pride round, but coach Carl Veart says the club will continue to support the young forward.

This weekend marks the A-Leagues’ pride celebration, focused on making football more welcoming for the LGBTQI community.

But 18-year-old Toure turned the Reds’ week upside down when he posted a message on social media on Tuesday expressing a lack of support for the initiative.

“For the Muslim brothers and sisters, I’m an Adelaide United player but also I’m a Muslim before anything,” Toure wrote in an Instagram story he later deleted.

“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.”

Adelaide have gay player Josh Cavallo in their A-League Men ranks, while Young Matildas goalkeeper Grace Wilson, who identifies as non-binary, is in their A-League Women squad.

Two days after his comments, Toure apologised, saying his post hadn’t reflected Adelaide’s focus on inclusivity.

“Having spoken to my teammates and my club, I understand that my comments were hurtful and insensitive and for this, I’m hugely sorry,” he wrote on his Instagram story on Thursday.

Veart pledged to work with the teenager, while stressing Adelaide’s commitment to pride.

“It was a difficult time for Musa,” Veart said on Friday.

“He’s a young person. He realises that he’s made a mistake and we’ll keep supporting him and keep working with him, like we support all of our players, and he’ll move on.

“We’ve always said that it’s very important we’re inclusive of everyone and it’s important that all of our supporters that come feel they’re part of the club and included.

“But young players, young people, they all like to express their feelings on social media.

“It’s something that we’re working with our young players, not just Musa, on what they need to be doing.”

Toure’s comments have overshadowed a high-stakes clash between Adelaide and their fierce rivals Melbourne Victory.

The Reds are winless in six and nine points outside the finals places, while Victory are precariously placed in fourth after just one win in nine.

“We’ve set ourselves high standards and we know we haven’t reached those standards this season,” Veart said.

Victory are determined to respond to Sunday’s sloppy 3-2 defeat to Brisbane.

“We have an opportunity, that’s for sure,” coach Tony Popovic said.

“(But) we have to respect the fact that (Adelaide) are very dangerous.

“It’s a game that I’m sure they feel like they have to win and they’ll come really hard at us.”

Victory will be without midfielder Ryan Teague (hip) for at least a week but skipper Roderick Miranda will return from suspension.

United will hope Stefan Mauk and Ryan Kitto are passed fit after illness.