The FFA Disciplinary Committee has dismissed an allegation by Sydney FC's Ali Abbas that he was racially abused by Western Sydney Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab.
After two lengthy hearings the committee found there was no eyewitness or corroborative evidence to support the Iraqi-born player's accusation that Santalab abused his culture and religion during a fiery Sydney derby last month.
The derby erupted into ugly scenes when Abbas confronted the former Sky Blues player and later expressed his outrage in a post-match interview on Fox Sports.
“We are not here to attack religion or culture, we are here to play football," a fired-up Abbas said immediately after the final whistle.
"I come from a different country, I respect everyone here. I should get it back. If I don't get it back, I'm going to attack. That's what happened.
"If people attack religion, if people attack culture - I'm against that. We need to stop that."
But the committee said, given the noise accompanying the high-octane clash, Abbas might have misheard what was said.
Santalab has consistently maintained his innocence.
The committee's verdict, which was handed down on Thursday, said "the credit of Ali Abbas is not under challenge.
"Brendon Santalab accepted that Ali Abbas genuinely believed that the offensive word had been used and did not challenge the fact that Ali Abbas believed he had been the subject of racial abuse.
"Having regard to the circumstances surrounding the incident particularly the undisputed high noise levels and in the absence of other eyewitness or corroborative evidence, it was possible that Ali Abbas may have misheard what was said by Brendon Santalab.
"Therefore the Committee was not satisfied to the necessary standard of proof that the offending words were used by Brendon Santalab and dismissed the matter."4 comments