Civoniceva racism claim Brad Walter | July 7, 2008 NRL officials are investigating an incident in which Penrith captain Petero Civoniceva says he was racially abused after yesterday's 22-16 win at Parramatta Stadium. Civoniceva, who described the abuse as some of the worst he had encountered in 11 seasons with Brisbane and the Panthers, said he had been targeted by a group of about six Eels supporters as he walked from the field. After being provoked into a reaction, Civoniceva's main concern last night was getting a message to those fans - particularly a group of young families - who had witnessed the incident about the cause of his actions. But a Penrith trainer also saw what happened and details of the incident are expected to be included when the NRL receives a report today from the ground manager at the match. "It was just disappointing," Civoniceva said. "You cop abuse all the time off fans but, fortunately, most people are educated enough not to resort to that sort of stuff. "There was a group of probably about six guys who started to really have a go at me, and there was a bit of racial stuff said. I took offence to it and my trainers, that were on the sideline at the time, saw everything and heard everything, so they know what happened. I've been around for a long time and you cop a bit here and there, but I've never had anything like that before. These guys obviously made a beeline for me and said what they said. I think maybe because I wasn't taking any notice of them and was ignoring them, they resorted to that stuff." Civoniceva said he had lashed out and spilt the men's beers but despite being the victim in the incident, he issued an apology to fans seated nearby. "I probably over-reacted a bit," he said. "They had their beers on the fence and I sort of swiped at them and spilt their beers all over the place. There were young kids there with their mums and dads and they would have seen that, so I sort of feel bad about that. Obviously, I don't want to scare young kids from coming to the footy, so I'd like to speak to some Parramatta people and especially the young families that were around there and just explain what happened. "It was just unfortunate that it happened and it would be good if I could explain it, especially to those young families that were sitting there." Eels officials were aware of the incident and later apologised to Civoniceva, who was praised by Penrith assistant coach Wayne Collins for backing up from Origin to lead the young Panthers to a good win. It is understood Eels officials will increase warnings to fans that if they racially abuse players, they will be arrested. The abuse of Civoniceva follows an incident at Parramatta Stadium last season in which Eels supporters threw coins at Manly centre Jamie Lyon. Eels officials made a public plea for other fans to help them find those responsible for the attack on Sea Eagles players, but were not successful. If identified, the supporters who abused Civoniceva face a ban from Parramatta Stadium and other NRL matches. Officials were last night unaware of claims that an Eels player had raised his middle finger at someone in the crowd while on the bench.