Football: Hannah Wilkinson sent off after ugly incident with assistant referee during Football Ferns defeat to Chile

The Football Ferns have been thumped 3-0 by Chile in their international friendly at Santiago in a contest marred by striker Hannah Wilkinson's outburst at an assistant referee that saw her shown a red card.

Frustrated at not being awarded a foul for what seemed a clear shove in the back from a Chilean defender, Wilkinson struck the official's arm as she stormed away.

The 55th-minute incident was another blemish on a poor outing from the Ferns in their first match since the World Cup on home soil.

Paige Satchell of New Zealand chases a ball.
Paige Satchell of New Zealand chases a ball. Photo credit: Photosport

A significant suspension is likely looming from FIFA, putting Wilkinson in doubt for next year's Paris Olympics. The minimum penalty for contact with an official is a 15-game ban.

While recognising that emotions were running high, coach Jitka Klimkova describes Wilkinson's actions as "unacceptable".

"This is not acceptable for us," said Klimkova. "We don't want to see those kinds of behaviours."

The towering 119-cap veteran scored the Football Ferns' only goal of the World Cup in their opening upset over Norway, before the team bowed out in the group stage.

When Wilkinson departed, New Zealand were already 3-0 down, courtesy of a 17th-minute effort from Daniela Zamora on the rebound, followed four minutes later by a well-placed chip from Yenny Acuna. Yesenia Lopez rounded out the scoring at the start of the second half.

Klimkova rues a slew of mistakes from her team, whose struggles to create goalscoring opportunities continue.

"I know we can do better than that, there's no doubt about it," she said. "It's still fresh on our heads how we performed during the World Cup, but what we've seen today is not even close.

"We made a lot of mistakes. We gave the ball away a lot even without pressure... that was not good enough." 

On Tuesday (NZ time), the teams will play again behind closed doors.