Football fan guilty of racial abuse slapped with two-year ban

Ifill was born in England but qualified to represent Barbados through his father who is from the small Caribbean island.

ADELAIDE, Australia, Monday December 24, 2012 – Football authorities here have imposed a two-year ban on a man found guilty of racially abusing Barbadian international Paul Ifill.

In a statement on Sunday, Football Federation Australia said the Adelaide United fan had breached its Spectator Code of Behaviour and would be barred from matches under its control.

According to clause ‘C’ of the code, fans are expected to “respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person regardless of their gender, ability, race, colour, religion, language, politics, national or ethnic origin.”

The fan, whose name has been withheld, has also had his Adelaide club membership cancelled.

Speaking afterward on online social networking service Twitter, Ifill said he was thankful the ordeal was over and was grateful to the Adelaide club and police for “acting promptly and professionally in the investigation.”

“Also want to thank [Wellington] Phoenix FC and all fans of the ALeague for their support in what has been a pretty tough week for me,” he tweeted.

Phoenix general manager David Dome said the club was pleased with the action taken against the Adelaide fan.

“It sends quite a strong message to the fans that this sort of thing won’t be tolerated,” he said.

The incident occurred on December 16 when Ifill’s Wellington Pheonix clashed with Adelaide away at Hindmarsh Stadium in the Australian A-League. Following the 3-1 defeat, Ifill used Twitter to lodge his complaint about the abuse.

Ifill was born in England but qualified to represent Barbados through his father who is from the small Caribbean island. He has made ten international appearances, including captaining the national side for a couple of matches during the 2010 World Cup campaign.

He has spent the last three years at Wellington, a New Zealand-based club, following an 11-year career in England.

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