Brendon Santalab Came Out Clean With No Charges

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By Dhrubajyoti Biswas | April 10, 2014 3:35 PM EST

Western Sydney Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab was acquitted after being charged to incite racial abuse to Sydney FC's Ali Abbas on March 8 in an A-League match.

Ali Abbas claimed that Santalab voiced some words against his religion, which further led him to lodge his complaint.

However, the Football Federation of Australia disciplinary committee dropped the allegations for lack of evidence by stating the "high noise levels and in the absence of other eyewitness or corroborative evidence" and Abbas "may have misheard what was said" in such situation.

The statement further said Brendon submitted that Ali "genuinely believed that the offensive word had been used and did not challenge the fact that Abbas believed he had been the subject of racial abuse and that the credit of Abbas was not under challenge."

For lack of proof and evidence, "the committee was not satisfied to the necessary standard of proof that the offending words were used by Santalab and dismissed the matter."

The disciplinary committee was chaired by Lachlan Gyles, John Marshall and former football legend Dominic Longo.

Santalab, in this context denied the allegations against him.

"I was unhappy in the last derby and he is unhappy in this one, so it makes it 1-1...There was nothing, it was just a normal chat with Ali ... some emotion and frustration through the game. These things happen...Whatever happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch and that's how I've always been, and that's how it is," Santalab commented after that fateful match

Abbas came up with this allegation against Santalab just after the end of the match. He was defended by his teammates as Ali was on the verge of a head-on with Santalab.

"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. That's what happened. If people attack religion, if people attack culture - I'm against that. We need to stop that," Ali said later after the end of the match to Fox Sports.

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