Ifill 'racially abused' during loss to Adelaide

21:57, Dec 16 2012
Phoenix vs Sydney FC
Terry Antonis of Sydney FC and Louis Fenton of the Phoenix compete fort he ball.
Phoenix vs Sydney FC
Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix headers the ball past Adam Griffiths of Sydney.
Phoenix vs Sydney FC
Sydney's Alessandro Del Piero during the A-League football match between Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC.
Phoenix vs Sydney FC
Sydney's Alessandro Del Piero during the A-League football match between Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC.
Photos: Phoenix vs Sydney FC
Wellington Phoenix's Stein Huysegems celebrates after scoring a goal.
Phoenix vs Heart
Phoenix goalkeeper Jacob Spoonley kicks the ball back into play during the round two A-League match between the Melbourne Heart and the Wellington Phoenix.
Phoenix vs Heart
Heart goalkeeper Clint Bolton takes the ball during the round two A-League match between the Melbourne Heart and the Wellington Phoenix.
Phoenix vs Heart
Paul Ifill of the Phoenix celebrates with his teammates after he converted a penalty.
Phoenix vs Heart
Manny Muscat of the Phoenix challenges Mate Dugandzic of the Heart.
Paul Ifill
Paul Ifill tussles with Mitch Nichols of the Brisbane Roar.
Nixie
Wellington Pheonix mascot Nixie entertains the crowd before the Brisbane Roar game.
Manny Muscat
Mitch Nichols (left) and Manny Muscat compete for the ball.
Steyn Huysegems
Steyn Huysegems celebrates scoring the opening goal for the Phoenix against Brisbane Roar.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Leo Bertos (L) of Wellington competes with Iain Ramsay of Adelaide.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Ben Sigmund of Wellington gets away from Jeronimo Neumann of Adelaide.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Louis Fenton of Wellington competes with Cassio of Adelaide.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Paul Ifill of Wellington tackles Central Coast's Tomas Rogic.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
A stoush during the second half when Manny Muscat of Wellington was handed a yellow card.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Louis Fenton of Wellignton takes a tumble.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Wellington Phoenix's Alex Smith goes for a header.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Wellington Phoenix's Tyler Boyd and Central Coast Mariners' Joshua Rose.
Phoenix
Paul Ifill battles for possession with Diogo Ferreira of the Melbourne Victory.
Phoenix
Jeremy Brockie is tackled by Diogo Ferreira during the Phoenix's loss to the Victory.
Phoenix
Jonathan Bru of the Victory contests with Vince Lia and Tyler Boyd of the Phoenix.
Phoenix
Adama Traore of the Victory and Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix contest for the ball.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Emile Heskey of the Jets and Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix contest the ball.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Ryan Griffiths of the Jets and Andrew Durante of the Phoenix fight for control.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Benjamin Totori of the Phoenix.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix in action.
Phoenix vs Adelaide
Tyler Boyd of the Phoenix and Scott Neville of the Jets go after the high ball.
Phoenix vs Glory
Shane Smeltz of the Glory and Andrew Durante of Wellington contest possession.
Phoenix vs Glory
Jacob Burns of the Glory tackles Louis Fenton of Wellington.
Phoenix vs Glory
Paul Ifill of Wellington in action against the Perth Glory.
Phoenix vs Glory
Ben Sigmund of Wellington and Chris Harold of Perth contest possession.
Phoenix vs Glory
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix celebrates after scoring against Western Sydney.
Phoenix vs Glory
Alexander Smith of the Phoenix in action with Dino Kresinger of the Wanderers.
Phoenix vs Glory
Alexander Smith of the Phoenix in action.
Phoenix vs Glory
Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix in action.
Phoenix vs Glory
Paul Ifill of the Phoenix and Jerome Polenz of the Wanderers go for the ball.
Phoenix vs Glory
Louis Fenton of the Phoenix and Nikolai Topor-Stanley of the Wanderers in action.
Phoenix vs Glory
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix scores.
Phoenix vs Glory
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix in action.
sdfBen Sigmund
Terry McFlynn (left) of Sydney fights for possession with Ben Sigmund (centre) and Tyler Boyd of the Phoenix.
Alex Smith
Alex Smith on the ball for the Phoenix.
Phoenix
Sydney FC celebrate scoring against the Phoenix.
Phoenix fans
Phoenix fans show their support during the game against Sydney.
Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United
Louis Fenton of Pheonix and Osama Malik of Adeleide contest for the ball.
Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United
Bruce Djite of Adelaide is challenged by Andrew Durante of Phoenix during the round 11 A-League match between Adelaide United and the Wellington Phoenix.
Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United
Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix goes for a header under pressure from Osama Malik of Adelaide.
Wellington Phoenix
Manny Muscat challenges Cassio of Adelaide.
Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United
Paul Ifill of Phoneix is challenged by Fabio Ferreira of Adelaide during the match between Adelaide United and the Wellington Phoenix.
Phoenix v Mariners
Tyler Boyd in action for the Phoenix in their 1-1 draw with the Mariners.
Phoenix v Mariners
Jeremy Brockie takes a tumble during the match against Central Coast Mariners.
Phoenix v Mariners
Ben Sigmund gets up in the air to challenge for the ball during the 1-1 draw with the Mariners.
Phoenix v Mariners
Louis Fenton is held back by Josh Rose of the Mariners.
Phoenix v Mariners
Dani Sanchez is congratulated by teammates Andrew Durante and Alexander Smith after scoring the equaliser against the Mariners.
Phoenix vs Victory
Stein Huysegems of the Wellington Phoenix talks to the referee who gave teamate Louis Fenton a yellow card for faking a dive.
Phoenix vs Victory
Billy Celeski of the Victory and Daniel Sanchez of the Phoenix compete for the ball.
Phoenix vs Victory
Nick Ansell of the Melbourne Victory jumps on Stein Huysegems of the Wellington Phoenix.
Phoenix vs West Sydney
Jeremy Brockie with the ball agaisnt Western Sydney.
Phoenix vs Western Sydney
Daniel Sanchez attempts to make a break agaisnt Western Sydney.
Stein Huysegems misses a goal against Western Sydney.
Stein Huysegems misses a goal against Western Sydney.
Louis Fenton playing against Western Sydney.
Louis Fenton playing against Western Sydney.
Phoenix v Sydney FC
Andrew Durante reacts to conceding a penalty against Sydney FC.
Phoenix v Sydney FC
Alessandro Del Piero celebrates one of his four goals against the Phoenix.
Phoenix v Sydney FC
Alessandro Del Piero and Vince Lia compete for the ball.
Phoenix v Sydney FC
Leo Bertos of the Phoenix reacts to a Sydney goal during the round 17.
Phoenix v Sydney FC
Fabio and Tyler Boyd compete for the ball during the Phoenix's 7-1 loss to Sydney FC.
Phoenix v Newcastle
Tyler Boyd and Jets' Jobe Wheelhouse compete for the ball during the 1-1 draw.
Phoenix v Newcastle
Louis Fenton celebrates his goal against the Jets with Daniel Sanchez.
Phoenix v Newcastle
Manny Muscat and Jets' Joshua Brillante compete for the ball.
Phoenix v Newcastle
Andrew Durante gets in the way of Jets player Ryan Griffiths.
Phoenix v Perth
Phoenix players celebrate Jeremy Brockie's goal against the Perth Glory.
Phoenix v Perth
Phoenix's Stein Huysegems and Perth's Steven McGarry contest the ball.
Phoenix v Perth
Phoenix fans show their support at Eden Park.
Phoenix v Perth
Isaka Cernak heads the ball from Perth's Liam Miller in the Phoenix's 1-0 win.
Wellington Phoenix
Louis Fenton goes up for a header against Central Coast Mariners.
Wellington Phoenix
Bernie Ibini (left) and Daniel McBreen celebrate a goal for Central Coast Mariners.
Wellington Phoenix
Bernie Ibini takes on the Phoenix's Ian Hogg.
Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide
Corey Gameiro, left, and Jeremy Brockie celebrate Brockie's goal.
Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide
Wellington’s Jeremy Brockie, left, and Antony Golec jump for the ball.
Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide
Antony Golec of Adelaide runs with the ball.
Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide
Leo Bertos runs with the ball.
Phoenix v Adelaide
Phoenix fans show their support for former coach Ricki Herbert.
Phoenix v Adelaide
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix shows his disappointment after a missed shot at goal.
Phoenix v Adelaide
Corey Gameiro of the Phoenix tackles Ruben Zadkovich of the Jets.
Phoenix v Adelaide
Ben Sigmund has words with the referee after the Phoenix's loss to Adelaide.
Phoenix v Adelaide
Sam Gallaway of the Jets and Paul Ifill of the Phoenix compete for the ball.
Phoenix vs Wanderders
Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Western Sydney.
Phoenix vs Wanderders
Jeremy Brockie (L) and Corey Gameiro (C) of the Phoenix celebrate after Brockie scored a goal.
Phoenix vs Wanderders
Adam D'Apuzzo of the Wanderers competes for the ball against Corey Gameiro of the Phoenix.
Phoenix vs Wanderders
Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix competes for the ball against Labinot Haliti of the Wanderers.
Wellington Phoenix
Wellington Phoenix players celebrate after scoring against Perth Glory.
Wellington Phoenix
Travelling Wellington Phoenix fans celebrate during the win over Perth Glory.
Wellington Phoenix
Leo Bertos (left) competes for the ball with Joshua Risdon of Perth Glory.

Wellington Phoenix star Paul Ifill claims he was the target of ''racial abuse'' from fans during last night's A-League match at Adelaide's Hindmarsh Stadium.

An upset Ifill took to Twitter after the Phoenix's 3-1 loss, saying: ''Bad times, poor result and racist abuse from a very small minority of fans. Not happy.''

Ifill, a former Barbados international who has spent the majority of his career playing in England, said the Phoenix had reported the incident.

''Been a long time since I've had to deal with anything like that... to be fair I believe it's an isolated incident have to say its a first for me in the A League.''

Ifill's claims were backed up by teammates, who also expressed their disgust on Twitter.

''Unbelievable the things I heard from the bench...it's 2012 people,'' wrote midfielder Alex Smith, who was on the bench at the time.

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''I'll leave it for now but I will say it was very racist and disgraceful...''

Reserve goalkeeper Griffin McMaster described the abuse as ''unacceptable''.

''In addition racist behaviour occurred which is unacceptable, then for the alleged people to do a runner #unacceptable,'' he wrote on Twitter.

AAP reported a spectator was heard to call Ifill a derogatory racial term.
Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert refused to confirm the racial nature of the abuse.

''It's not for me to confirm or not,'' Herbert said.

But an Adelaide United spokesman said the club was aware of the incident.

''We will investigate the matter,'' the spokesman said.

Ifill was unavailable for interview last night and a Phoenix spokesman said the matter was now in the hands of Adelaide officials.

Racial abuse is a hot topic in the English Premier League.

Former England captain John Terry provided the highest profile case and eventually apologised for abusing Anton Ferdinand and accepted a four-game ban.

On the field, the Phoenix played some decent attacking football last night but had a legitimate goal disallowed and there were all sorts of problems at the other end.

Herbert's side has now dropped out of the top six, and it won't get any easier as red-hot Central Coast come to town on Saturday.

All Whites Mark Paston and Tony Lochhead will bear the brunt of the criticism for some poor defending.

Paston allowed Marcelo Carrusca's free kick to bounce into the back of the net in the 19th minute, although the goalkeeper was let down by his defenders.
Blindsided, Paston failed to lay a mitt on the ball, expecting Adelaide's Osama Malik or one of his own men to get a touch, yet no-one did.

There wasn't much the big custodian could do about Carrusca's second, however.

The classy Argentine has the sweetest left foot in the league and he let rip with a pin point shot from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 after just 24 minutes.

Paston was irate afterwards, as the back-tracking Lochhead and Andrew Durante allowed Carrusca far too much space to advance and cut back inside.

Gareth Morgan's whims aside, it meant the Phoenix had no option but attack and they deserved to reduce the deficit midway through the half.

Stein Huysegems was level with Adelaide's Iain Fyfe as Ifill sent in a shot/cross which the Belgian bundled into the back of the net - only to be wrongly adjudged offside by the linesman.

Herbert and his right hand man Chris Greenacre were rightly upset and the Phoenix, previously dudded by Jeronimo Neumann's dive, aren't having much luck with officials in Adelaide.

Frustrations started to creep into Phoenix play but in no way can they blame the decision for the defeat.

High-flying Adelaide landed the killer blow through Fabio Ferreira in stoppage time of the first half.

The Portuguese winger's run sprung the offside trap as Lochhead was left stranded and Ferreira finished well although Paston will feel he should have done better.

Glen Moss' hernia means Paston's job is safe for the time being.

Herbert's headaches intensified at halftime, as captain Durante was subbed off with a calf problem.

Manny Muscat joined club centurion Ben Sigmund in defence and the Phoenix got some reward for their attacking endeavours via Dani Sanchez.

The Spaniard, in the starting XI for the first time this season, hit the rebound in after his first shot was blocked, following nice build-up from Tyler Boyd.

In extra time Boyd then had a chance to open his A-League account but his penalty and follow-up were both saved in spectacular fashion by Eugene Galekovic.

Adelaide, rubbish last season, are showing what can be achieved with superb recruitment.

Carrusca, Ferreira and Neumann are all providing a point of difference with their technical ability while two of the Phoenix's imports - Alex Smith and Benjamin Totori - started last night's match on the bench.

And another, Huysegems, was dragged off early as he struggled to get into the flow of the match.

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