A Manly United player was slapped with a three-game suspension over the incident and required to issue a written and/or verbal apology to Dotti.
On Saturday night that eventually happened when the two players at the centre of the drama came face to face after a match on the Central Coast.
Dotti’s family say the defender is disillusioned by the length of time it took to deal with the complaint and is “now contemplating walking away from the game”.
“This has been very traumatic to the family,” said Keifer’s father, Phil Dotti – a former professional rugby league player with Cronulla Sutherland.
“Manchester United were out here and if something was said to Rio Ferdinand or Patrice Evra in reference to their background this person would have been dragged over the coals.
“If Indigenous kids are to aspire to play for Australia and seek further representative honours and so forth, they’re not going to do it copping such remarks pertaining to their culture.”
The incident occurred on June 30 when Dotti’s Rockdale City Suns took on Manly United at Cromer Park.
Phil Dotti said his son was not informed of the three-game suspension and that neither Football NSW nor Football Federation Australia initiated contact following the game.
au.fourfourtwo.com has been told the matter was handled internally by Manly United in consultation with FNSW.
“We’ve taken the appropriate action – we’re just hoping this is the end to the event,” a member of the Manly board said prior to the weekend apology.
“It was just a comment (our player) made in retaliation to a very bad tackle (Dotti) made on him from behind and he came out with an expletive.
“Unfortunately (Dotti) took offence. The referee didn’t hear it, the assistant linesman didn’t hear it and whatever he said was in the heat of the moment I think. That’s about what it amounts to.
“He’s by no way racist – he has a girlfriend who’s half Aboriginal, he has Aboriginal family friends so it’s not as if he’s a person who has racist views.”
Dotti received an apology from the Manly coach immediately following the game and the club said their player also attempted to speak with defender on the day of the match by waiting outside the dressing room.
Since then, attempts to tee up a “shake hands” and apology had proved difficult because their player lived on the Central Coast, the club said.
Manly’s player has already served a four-game suspension: three for the racial slur and a fourth for dissent, when he challenged the referee’s ruling on the Dotti tackle and was sent from the field for a second yellow.
FNSW said Manly has been put on notice that “any further conduct of this nature by the club’s participants will result in severe sanctions both against the club and those involved in accordance with the grievance and disciplinary regulations”.
Phil Dotti applauded Rockdale City Suns for being “incredibly supportive” during the whole process.
The NSW Premier League club submitted an official complaint with FNSW and requested a formal apology from Manly but said sometimes disciplinary processes take time.
“I went up to Keifer when he came to training (after the incident),” Suns president Paul Goreski said. “He was in the car and I said, Keifer I’m sorry what happened on the weekend. He said, Paul it’s not right, and I said we’ll make sure this gets addressed and that appropriate (action) is taken so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
“He smiled at me and seemed to be okay. I promised him that we would take all steps to get it addressed.”
FNSW said reports of racial abuse to the federation were rare and this was the first this year.
“There is no place for racism in football," said a spokesman. "Both FIFA and FFA have a strong stance on it and so does Football NSW.”
Phil Dotti, already critical of the elite pathways for Indigenous players, said the fact the family was still waiting for an official report on the investigation signalled an alarming lack of transparency.
He said he was willing to discuss the recent incident with FFA CEO David Gallop. But he feared the fall-out would be greater for his son than anything dished up to the Manly United player.
He added: “Sadly word gets around in this game and at the end of the day who wants to sign an Aboriginal kid who put his hand up against discrimination.”