Paul Ifill takes on Adelaide United on December 16. Photo: Regi Varghese
Wellington Phoenix star Paul Ifill says he suffered a ''blatantly racist'' verbal attack from an Adelaide fan as Australian soccer authorities rule out seeking to have spectator abuse made a criminal offence.
South Australian police and Adelaide United on Monday were still hunting for the spectator who racially vilified Ifill during Sunday's A-League match in Adelaide.
The abusive spectator is believed to have run from authorities at Hindmarsh Stadium after the racial attack on the English-born Barbados international.
Football Federation Australia chief David Gallop said in Sydney on Monday that the spectator, if found, would be banned from attending games. ''That kind of taunt is not on.''
Gallop believed bans were appropriate sanctions for racist supporters, rather than seeking to make racist abuse a criminal offence.
''We have seen overseas there can be criminal sanctions with that kind of thing,'' he said.
''The ban system that is in place for any kind of anti-social behaviour is one we need to continue to be vigilant about.''
Ifill confirmed the racial abuse on Twitter, saying he was subject of ''a few things that were blatantly racist that I'd rather not repeat''.
'' … To be fair I believe it's an isolated incident have to say its a 1st for me in the ALeague,'' Ifill wrote.
Ifill believed the perpetrator had been identified, but Adelaide United said the offender had not been found.
Adelaide captain Eugene Galekovic said such abuse shouldn't be tolerated. ''I don't condone racial sledges or anything like that … there is a line and you can't really cross that line anymore,'' he said.
United is helping Hindmarsh Stadium management and the FFA in investigating the racial abuse.
Phoenix midfielder Alex Smith, on the bench when Ifill was substituted during the second half, said on Twitter the abuse was ''very racist and disgraceful''.
A Wellington Phoenix spokesman on Monday said the club would make no further comment on the issue after Adelaide called in police.
Meanwhile, Western Sydney has received another boost in its impressive debut A-League season with news Japanese marquee signing Shinji Ono wants to extend his stay at the club.
Just two days after scoring a dramatic 2-0 derby win over Sydney FC, the 33-year-old said he was keen to add to the one-year deal he signed in September. AAP