The independent FFA Disciplinary Committee today handed down its determination in the matter involving an incident arising out of the Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers match on Saturday 8 March 2014.
The Disciplinary Committee consisting of John Marshall SC (Chair), Lachlan Gyles SC and Dominic Longo had been convened to hear an allegation of racial and/or ethnic abuse against Wanderers player Brendon Santalab following a complaint by Sydney FC player Ali Abbas.
The Committee dealt with matter over two lengthy hearings and reserved its determination.
The Committee has determined the following:
1. That 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.
2. The credit of Ali Abbas was not under challenge.
3. 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.
4. 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.