Football Federation Australia (FFA) has imposed a sanction on Sebastian Ryall for a breach of the National Code of Conduct.
The sanction follows a finding that under clause 2.1 of the Code of Conduct, the player has brought the game into disrepute through being charged with a criminal offence.
The Sydney FC man has been charged with engaging in a sexual act with a girl who was 13 years of age.
He has been suspended from participating in football matches in Australia (including the A-League) until September 3, 2009, and
will also be ineligible for national team duty until either the aforementioned date or the criminal case has been determined (whichever is the later).
The criminal charge arises out of an incident that took place in late January 2008. At the time the player was 18 years of age.
The matter came to the attention of FFA and his current club on April 23, 2009.
FFA initiated its Code of Conduct process, which involved providing the player with the opportunity to make submissions to FFA on the alleged breach.
The body considered those submissions in reaching its determination, which was communicated to Ryall today.
The player, through his legal representatives, has cooperated fully with the FFA process.
The sanction is not imposed on the basis that the player is guilty of the charge that he faces.
FFA has not formed a view of the player’s guilt or innocence of the charge. The sanction is imposed simply on the basis that the criminal charge against him has brought the game of football into disrepute.
Ryall has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charge and his lawyer has indicated his client intends to strenuously defend his innocence.
As a result of the sanction, he will not be travelling with the Australia Under-20 squad which is due to depart soon for an overseas tour.
The player has seven days in which to appeal FFA’s determination to the independent Disciplinary Committee if he chooses to do so. A subsequent appeal may also be made to the independent Appeals Committee.
As this matter is before the courts, FFA and Sydney FC will be making no further comment on the case at this point.