Sydney stand by Abbas abuse claims

Sydney FC have expressed “extreme disappointment” that abuse allegations against Western Sydney Wanderers striker, Brendon Santalab, were dismissed.

The Sky Blues are standing by their player, Ali Abbas, who accused Santalab of cultural and religious vilification during last month’s heated derby.

After two lengthy hearings the FFA Disciplinary Committee suggested Abbas may have “misheard” the comments and pointed to a lack of eyewitness and corroborative evidence for the decision to dismiss the case.

But Sydney CEO Tony Pignata made it clear the club was less than happy with the ruling.

“Sydney FC and Ali Abbas are extremely disappointed with the decision of the independent FFA Disciplinary Committee,” Pignata said in a statement.

“Ali stands by the comments he made after the game and Sydney FC fully support him in this.

“We would like to reiterate that we believe racial vilification has no place in football or in society.

“The last few weeks have been very testing times for Ali through which he has shown great strength of character and continued to perform to his best.

“Ali has an extremely important game this Sunday and would like to focus on that and helping Sydney FC reach the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.”

A win or a draw against Perth Glory in the last game of the regular season will ensure a spot in the top six for the Sky Blues.