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Phoenix welcome fan's 2-year ban

09:00 Mon Dec 24 2012
AAP
Paul Ifill
Paul Ifill was the victim of racial abuse in a match against Adelaide.

The Wellington Phoenix are happy with a two-year A-League ban dished out to an Adelaide United fan for racially abusing Paul Ifill, and the player wants to move on.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) on Sunday announced the Adelaide man had been banned from attending any A-League match for two years for breaching the its Spectator Code of Behaviour during the December 16 match at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Adelaide United Football Club also cancelled membership held by the man.

Ifill, an English-born Barbados international, 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 #gladitsover," he said.

Phoenix general manager David Dome told AAP 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.

Immediately after the match, which Adelaide won 3-1, Ifill said a line had been crossed when he was racially abused.

"Bad times poor result and racist abuse from a very small minority of fans #nothappy," he posted on Twitter.

"It was a small minority no problem with a bit of banter but a line was crossed today."

South Australian police and security staff at Hindmarsh Stadium were made aware of the racial abuse, which came as Ifill was substituted in the 61st minute.

The FFA's code of behaviour 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.