Perth Glory and Matildas playmaker Lisa De Vanna has accused Canberra United of illegally targeting her in an attempt to curb her on-field performance.
Her claims erupted in a Twitter war before United's clash with the Newcastle Jets at Deakin on Saturday.
De Vanna took to the social networking site to air her displeasure at Canberra's tactics in its 2-1 victory over Glory at Deakin on Wednesday. She likened them to the repeated fouls Real Madrid winger Cristiano Ronaldo sometimes endures as defenders try to minimise his talent.
Controversy has followed De Vanna throughout her career. She was sent home from a World Cup training camp last year and was also in hot water for posting lewd photos on her Facebook page in 2010.
De Vanna stood by her tweet when contacted by The Canberra Times on Friday. ''I felt I was targeted as a player physically more without the ball than with the ball, for me that's a little bit uncalled for because I've played in the best leagues in the world, against the best defenders in the world, and to get kicked for no reason all those times [is wrong],'' she said. ''And if Heather [Reid] was watching the game she would see that.
''I can understand where she's coming from, but for her - who is a Matildas fan and football fan - I thought she would understand where I was coming from, but obviously she didn't.''
United chief executive Heather Reid did not take too kindly to the accusation and tweeted back: ''did [Bronwyn] Studman wack [Canberra striker Nikki] Washington in CANvPER game & does @L-Devanna11 live in a glass house?''
In reply, De Vanna questioned whether Reid's tweet, as a senior administrator in the game, was appropriate. She told Reid to ''sit back and watch me n Ronaldo live YOUR dream. Don't forget ur glasses for the next game!''
Reid was unhappy with the implication that United played outside the rules. ''And I was surprised a national-team player would make a comment in relation to the referee's performance. We don't do that,'' she said. ''So I suggested perhaps she needed to look in her own backyard and did she live in a glass house.''
Reid has since deleted her tweets, but it still makes for a fiery clash when the teams face each other again in Perth in two weeks' time.
Meanwhile, United will look to retain Washington for the rest of the season after the Texan scored two goals in her first two W-League games.
Her contract runs out on December 16, to cover for the injured Ashleigh Sykes, but Reid confirmed they will keep her on until the end of the season.
The Canberra Times believes United coach Jitka Klimkova will have an interview for the Matildas senior coaching position next week.