USYD soccer players subject to homophobic attack

Lane Sainty reports on violence in regional NSW


Two players from the Sydney University Division 1 Women’s soccer team were subject to a homophobic attack during a team trip to regional NSW last weekend. The team had travelled to Griffith to compete in the Football NSW State Cup.

The game was scheduled for nine o’clock on the morning of Sunday May 5, so the team made the six-hour trip to Griffith on the afternoon of Saturday May 4, arriving at approximately 7pm. They then went out to The Area Hotel, one of Griffith’s most popular pubs, situated on the main street of Griffith, Banna Avenue.

Sarah*, 24, said that the women were having an enjoyable night until things turned sour in the early hours of the morning. “At around 3 am the last of us were leaving and then me and another team mate ended up kissing outside and a girl just literally just flew up to us, screamed out— excuse my French— ‘fucking dyke!’ and just went nuts and continued to punch me in the face and head until the cops came,” she said. “My coach tried to get her off and he actually got scratched really badly across his chest.”

The woman who attacked the pair was not detained on the night but has since been identified after a witness gave her name to police.

Sarah says that she sustained several injuries as a result of the attack. “I’ve got a bruise to my left cheekbone, scratches down the left side of my face as well… I’ve got five or six eggs on my head, and she actually pulled out a massive part of my hair, so I’ve got a bit of a bald patch.”

A doctor has warned the other woman who was attacked that she cannot drive due to a head injury sustained during the attack. This has made it difficult for the woman, 25, to do her job as a company representative, which requires a large amount of driving.

The game the next morning saw the Sydney University team have their State Cup ambitions taken from them by the local Yoogali Soccer Club, who won the game three goals to one.

Sarah played the game, but said that the attack left her virtually useless. “I had to [play], because we didn’t have any other players. But I was pretty much just standing there.”

*Name has been changed.