Melbourne Knights have cited the Racial Discrimination Act in an appeal to the Human Rights Commission over a shirt sponsor.
The club, which used to be called Melbourne Croatia, had planned to use Melbourne Croatia Soccer Club Incorporated as their shirt front sponsor for the FFA Cup in response to the National Club Identity Policy, which ban clubs from being identified on national, religious or political grounds.
FFA denied their request on the grounds the sponsor was not registered correctly, but the Knights believe they are being discriminated against. Melbourne Croatia Soccer Club Incorporated has been registered since April 1984, and has sponsored Melbourne Knights since 2009. The Knights have brought their complaint to the Human Rights Commission.
“The National Club Identity Policy and your enforcement of it to deny a club valuable financial support clearly demonstrates the failure of your vision of an assimilated football community, which fundamentally denies the reality of the game in this country,” wrote the Knights club secretary, Melinda Cimera, in a letter to FFA.
If the Knights appeal to the Human Rights Commission fails, they intend to take the case to federal court.