An Adelaide United supporter guilty of racially abusing Wellington Phoenix star Paul Ifill during an A-League match has been banned from Football Federation Australia (FFA) controlled matches for two years.
The FFA released a statement today saying the unnamed man breached the organisation's Spectator Code of Behaviour by racially abusing the England-born former Barbados international when the Phoenix played Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium on December 16.
Clause 'c' of the code says spectators must: ''respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, race, colour, religion, language, politics, national or ethnic origin.''
Adelaide United has also cancelled the fan's club membership.
Ifill tweeted following the ban announcement, thanking the Adelaide club and police "for acting promptly and professionally in the investigation".
"Also want to thank WgtnPhoenixFC and all fans of the ALeague for their support in what has been a pretty tough week for me ," he said.
Phoenix general manager David Dome said the club was comfortable with the two-year ban and wanted to move on.
"It sends quite a strong message to the fans that this sort of thing won't be tolerated."
He could not remember a similar incident in A-League history.
Despite heftier penalties in overseas competitions for racial abuse, in the A-League context, he was confident it was a strong deterrent.
An upset Ifill complained about the abuse he copped on Twitter shortly after the Phoenix's 3-1 loss, posting: "Bad times poor result and racist abuse from a very small minority of fans #nothappy."
Phoenix management reported the incident to FFA and Adelaide United officials after the match and both organisations were quick to condemn and investigate the incident.
- Fairfax NZ and AAP
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