Player: I was racially abused in A-League match

Football Federation Australia will investigate claims by

Barbados winger Paul Ifill that he was racially abused by fans in

Sunday’s A-League match between the Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide

United.

The England-born Ifill, who is black, used his Twitter account

to say he was the target of racist abuse when he came on for

Wellington in the 61st minute at Adelaide.

Ifill tweeted: ”Bad times, poor result and racist abuse from a

very small minority of fans.”

The former Millwall midfielder said the comments made by

Adelaide fans were ”blatantly racist.” He was supported by

teammate Alex Smith, who was on the Wellington bench and described

the comments as ”very racist and disgraceful.”

The FFA says it ”will investigate any incidence of racial

vilification.”

Adelaide police said they were also investigating the incident

and an Adelaide United spokesman said efforts were being made to

identify the fan or fans involved.

Adelaide captain Eugene Galekovic said racial abuse in football

could not be tolerated.

”I don’t condone racial sledges or anything like that,”

Galekovic said. ”But I don’t know what was said so I will leave it

up to the club.

”Racial abuse is something different (in) society these days.

There is a line and you can’t really cross that line.”

The 33-year-old Ifill was born in Brighton, England and played

238 matches for Milwall, including the 2004 F.A. Cup final against

Manchester United. He also played for Sheffield United and Crystal

Palace before joining New Zealand-based Wellington in 2009.

A Wellington Phoenix spokesman said Monday the club would make

no further comment while a police investigation was in

progress.