Ethnic abuse charge against player dismissed

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SYDNEY (AP) -- An allegation of ethnic abuse against Western Sydney Wanderers player Brendon Santalab was dismissed by a disciplinary committee Thursday because of a lack of evidence.

Sydney FC's Ali Abbas claimed that Santalab had made slurs against his religion during a game last month. Sydney took the complaint to Football Federation Australia.

The three-man FFA committee did not question Abbas' version of the events but said because of "high noise levels and in the absence of other eyewitness or corroborative evidence," it was possible Abbas "may have misheard what was said" and dismissed the allegation.

Sydney chief executive Tony Pignata said the team was "extremely disappointed" with the decision and that "the last few weeks have been very testing times for Ali, through which he has shown great strength of character."