The 34-year-old former Socceroos defender hit the deck in pretend agony after Bruno Fornaroli brushed his face.

The referee allowed play to continue with City equalising through Nicolas Colazo as North was hunched on the ground.

“I’d like to apologise first and foremost to all the football fans out there, and secondly to everyone at the Roar — the supporters, the players, the staff and the coaching staff,” North told the Courier Mail.

“I also apologise to my opponent (Fornaroli), Melbourne City and everyone that was involved. It’s not a good look. People that have known me throughout my whole career know that’s not what I’d normally do.

“I just got caught up in the heat of the moment. It’s a reaction that’s well out of my character. It’s pretty shameful. I always like to play in the spirit of the game, and always have respect for my teammates and who I play against.”

North said he was dirty on himself for hindering his side's efforts to claim a vital away win.

“That’s the other thing I’ve got to live with. I let my team down because of my actions,” he said.

“I’m sure a lot of people out there are judging me as a person and as a footballer at the moment, and they by all means have the right to their own opinions. I’m sure people are having a go at me. That’s fine, they’ve got every right to.”