Wellington Phoenix star Paul Ifill says a line was
crossed when he was racially abused by spectators during
yesterday's A-League loss to Adelaide United in Adelaide.
Ifill says some fans at Hindmarsh Stadium racially abused him
in an incident being investigated by Football Federation
Australia (FFA) and Adelaide United.
"Bad times poor result and racist abuse from a very small
minority of fans #nothappy," the English-born Barbados
international posted on social network Twitter.
".... It was a small minority no problem with a bit of banter
but a line was crossed today."
Ifill, among the A-League's elite players, was understood to
have been repeatedly called a racially derogatory term when
substituted during Wellington's 3-1 loss to Adelaide.
Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert refused to confirm the racial
nature of the abuse.
"It's not for me to confirm or not," he told reporters
But an Adelaide United spokesman said the club was aware of
the racial abuse.
"We will investigate matter," the spokesman said.
An FFA spokesman said the governing body "will investigate
any incidence of racial vilification".
SA Police and security staff at Hindmarsh Stadium were made
aware of the racial abuse, which came as Ifill was
substituted in the 61st minute.
After the Barbadian was taken off, Phoenix coach Herbert
reacted instinctively by turning around and appearing to look
for those abusing his star player.
But Herbert was reluctant to expand on the racial
"You may want to ask the club (Adelaide)," Herbert said.
"There was a few comments that we have shared with the
(Adelaide) club officials ... with regards to a player.
"It would probably be best to talk to the club, Adelaide."
Herbert said it was not his position to confirm or deny the
racial element of the abuse directed at the highly-respected
The 33-year-Ifill was born in Brighton in England and played
238 games for English club Millwall, including the 2004 FA
Cup final against Manchester United.
Ifill also had stints at Sheffield United and Crystal Palace
before joining Phoenix.