Santalab to face hearing into abuse claims

Brendan Santalab has been summoned to appear before the FFA Disciplinary Committee next week in the latest instalment of the abuse row which erupted between the Western Sydney Wanderers striker and Sydney FC’s Ali Abbas.

The closed meeting is to determine whether an offence has been caused and if so what sanction will be imposed.

Abbas lodged a formal complaint with football’s governing body after publicly airing claims of cultural and religious abuse during his side’s recent 3-1 derby victory over the defending premiers.

The Iraqi-born midfielder became enraged in an incident-packed game and had to be restrained by team-mates when he confronted the Western Sydney forward.

Santalab, a former Sky Blues player, has denied the allegations.

In an interview with Fox Sports immediately after the final whistle Abbas said: "We are not here to attack religion or culture, we are here to play football.

"I come from a different country, I respect everyone here.

"I should get it (respect) back. If I don't get it back, I'm going to attack (speak out). That's what happened.

"If people attack religion, if people attack culture - I'm against that. We need to stop that."

The FFA announced it had issued a Disciplinary Notice to Santalab on Wednesday.

“The hearing relates to an alleged incident involving the player in the Hyundai A-League match between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers FC on 8 March 2014," the statement read. 

“The hearing is for the purpose of determining whether an offence has been committed under the A-League Disciplinary Regulations and if so what sanction should be imposed.

“The hearing is scheduled for 5.30 pm 24 March 2014 at FFA’s Offices.  The Chairman of the independent Disciplinary Committee, John Marshall SC, has directed that the hearing be closed to members of the media.