An investigation has been launched by Southern Football after a Wanaka footballer was allegedly racially abused in a match against Roslyn Wakari in Dunedin.
Daniel Lourenço was playing for Wanaka when a spectator allegedly directed a racial slur at the 21-year-old Brazilian, midway through the first-half of the match at Ellis Park.
Too focused on his football, Lourenço said he did not hear a slur, but his teammates did and confronted the crowd.
However, this only resulted in a yellow card to one of them.
"When the game finished, all my team went to talk to the referee but I don't even think he knew about it and no one would say who exactly had made the racist comments," Lourenço said.
"I'm the only Brazilian on my team, when I arrived, they always supported me even though I couldn't speak English very well. I feel glad that they stood up for me when it all happened."
Video of the incident has been sent to New Zealand Football for review.
Southern Football chief executive Dougal McGowan said they had gathered reports from those who were at the Dunedin game.
"We are working through that process now and trying to make sure because there's a lot of information to work through, there's videos and all that sort of stuff. So we've got a wee bit of work to do."
McGowan said it was disappointing to hear of the incident.
"We've been talking about sideline and onfield behavior for a long period of time. We are quite concerned about a number of different things that are happening. It's not just our sport, we're talking with other groups and they're finding the same things and we're seeing it in general society as well," he said.
Southern Football wanted to ensure people were able to participate freely without having "this sort of stuff going on", he said.
The incident comes just two weeks after the All Whites abandoned their match against Qatar after one of the opposing team members allegedly said a racial slur towards defender Michael Boxall.
The Qatar Football Association denied the player used a racial slur, saying the two had an exchange of words "in the heat of the moment".
"In any case, the QFA takes the allegations incredibly seriously and stands against racism in all its forms," QFA said in a statement at the time.
Originally from São Paulo, Lourenço came to New Zealand with his family nine months ago.
"I never thought that would ever happen to me on the field. I would never ever think that I would have to go through that.
"I really don't want to have to go through that again. It's an awful thing but I believe it will pass. I've been trying to focus on my football and on what I like about football. I know I'm unfortunately not the only one that goes through it, racism should never be okay."
The two sides are set to meet again in the Chatham Cup this weekend.
Daniel's mother, Nivia Lourenço, said her son was doing what he loved most and she was deeply upset by what had happened.
"I've never experienced anything even close to what happened to my son.
"I was under the impression that here in New Zealand we had respect between people and their communities, and how different people are. But now, after what happened to my son, I don't know anymore. How can people be mean, be cruel, to people, just because they have a different skin colour than theirs?
"If you are a mother, it doesn't matter how old your children are, when someone hurts them, I think there's nothing worse to a mother.
"We should not tolerate racism anywhere and anytime. Skin colour doesn't mean anything; people should always respect one another."
Meanwhile, Wellington Phoenix have stood a player from their resereve team down indefinitely after he admitted using homophobic language on the field in a match against Petone in the Central League competition.
Fin Conchie has apologised for the comments and will face disciplinary action from Capital Football.