Soccer: Ifill claims racial abuse in Adelaide defeat

By Paul Harper

Paul Ifill in action against Adelaide. Photo / Getty Images
Paul Ifill in action against Adelaide. Photo / Getty Images

Football Federation Australia is investigating a report Wellington Phoenix star Paul Ifill was racially abused during an A-League match in Adelaide last night.

The English-born Barbadian made the claim after the Phoenix lost 3-1 to Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

"Bad times poor result and racist abuse from a very small minority of fans," he wrote.

"Thanks for all your support as I said it was a small minority no problem with a bit of banter but a line was crossed today."

The former Millwall, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace midfielder told an Adelaide fan on Twitter the abuse as he was substituted on the 61st minute was "blatantly racist" that he would rather not repeat.

The 33-year-old believed those responsible had been identified.

Ifill's account was backed up by teammates Alex Smith and Griffin McMaster.

"Unbelievable the things I heard from the bench...it's 2012 people," Smith wrote on Twitter. "I'll leave it for now but I will say it was very racist and disgraceful..."

Back-up goalkeeper McMaster said the abuse Ifill received upon being substituted was not acceptable.

"In addition racist behavior occurred which is unacceptable, then for the alleged people to do a runner #unacceptable," McMaster wrote on Twitter.

Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert would not discuss the allegations after the match.

"It's not for me to confirm or deny, its best to go through that process and talk to Adelaide," he told media. ''There was a few comments that we have shared with the club officials ... with regards to a player."

Football Federation Australia, Adelaide United and police have all been made aware of the incident and are investigating the claims, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

- nzherald.co.nz

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