Two New Zealand football fans have been banned from their local ground after former Republic of Ireland international Terry Phelan was racially abused.
Phelan, now player-coach of Otago United, spoke out after two Canterbury United supporters were banned from their team’s English Park ground for racist abuse.
Albert Laverack and son Michael have had trespass orders issued by the New Zealand Police and their season tickets revoked.
Both deny making racial comments.
“I’ve played all over the world and I can honestly say that’s the first time I’ve had someone, 10 feet away, throw those sort of insults out,” Phelan told The Christchurch Press.
“You don’t expect to come to a lovely place like New Zealand and hear that. It’s just mindless.”
New Zealand Soccer spokesman Glyn Taylor said: “I don’t want to go into what was said; suffice to say it’s not acceptable conduct. We have a zero-tolerance policy to that sort of act. It can’t happen.”
Phelan said Canterbury had been ’absolutely brilliant’ in its handling of the matter and had decided not to lay a complaint with the police.