Tim Cahill of Melbourne City is given a red card before even being substituted on to the field during the round 18 A-League match against the Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium.
Tim Cahill of Melbourne City is given a red card before even being substituted on to the field during the round 18 A-League match against the Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium. JOE CASTRO

Cahill: 'I have to respect the game and the officials'

FOOTBALL: Socceroos legend Tim Cahill has spoken for the first time after receiving a suspension for abusing referee Chris Beath in a heated Melbourne Derby on Saturday night.

A one-game ban was confirmed on Monday afternoon after the Melbourne City marquee was sent off before stepping foot on the field in the final minutes of the 2-1 loss to Victory.

It was revealed Cahill had called Beath a "f***ing disgrace" after telling him to look at the big screen following Victory's controversial goal to go ahead in the derby.

FFA's suspension means Cahill will miss a vital game against Brisbane Roar, alongside teammates Dean Bouzanis, Bruno Fornaroli, Fernando Brandan, Luke Brattan, Manny Muscat and Osama Malik.

In response to the ban, Cahill posted a message on Instagram apologising for his touchline behaviour.

"I want to address what happened in the derby on Saturday night," Cahill wrote. "I sincerely apologise to Chris Beath for my reaction.

"My behaviour also hurt the game so I also apologise to my team, to Melbourne Victory and to all the fans at the game and watching at home.

"Regardless of whatever happens on the pitch, I have to respect the game and the officials. I want the game to grow in Australia and I want to do all I can to help that happen. No matter the situation, I have to set an example and be accountable for my words and actions.

"My job now is to focus totally on football and winning as many games as possible."

News Corp Australia

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