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A-League player faces underage sex charges -

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LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Two more players have been named by the media in the rugby league group sex
scandal that's already destroyed the career of former Channel Nine personality Matthew Johns.

And whilst the controversy over rugby league's treatment of women continues tonight, another code's
also become embroiled in a sex scandal. A-League soccer player Sebastian Ryall has been charged
with having sex with an under-aged girl. Football's governing body says the charge has brought the
game into disrepute and has imposed a four-month playing ban on the Sydney FC defender. Karen
Barlow reports.

KAREN BARLOW, REPORTER: The rugby league sex scandal is boiling over. Not waiting for participants
to come forward, Channel Nine has outed two players it says were in the Christchurch hotel room in
2002. One of the two named, Daniel Ninnis, has responded by saying he didn't take part in or see
any of the events said to have occurred. Schools and sponsors have had enough.

ANDREW BLAIR, SECONDARY PRINCIPALS ASSOC: Clearly, this particular incident is throwing up the very
worst of the NRL and the very worst of sporting culture.

KAREN BARLOW: NRL players are currently not welcome at many primary and secondary schools.

ANDREW BLAIR: I don't underestimate how much work has to be done to claw back respect for the code
right now. It's a terrible incident and one that I sincerely hope never occurs again.

KAREN BARLOW: In a week dominated by Matthew Johns' humiliation, the soccer world has been rocked
tonight with the naming of one of its own for suspect behaviour.

BEN BUCKLEY, FOOTBALL FEDERATION AUS. CEO: Football Federation today has imposed the sanction on
player Sebastian Ryall.

KAREN BARLOW: The 19-year-old has been stood down from overseas touring duties and his club Sydney
FC for bringing football into disrepute.

BEN BUCKLEY: The player has been charged with engaging in a sexual act with a girl who was 13 years
of age.

KAREN BARLOW: Ryall was 18 at the time of the alleged offence in January last year. Charges were
laid last August, but both the FFA and Ryall's club only found out about the charge on 23 April.

In a statement, Sydney FC said it, "... had no knowledge of the incident when it signed the player
last November."

The matter is still before the courts and it's understood Sebastian Ryall is pleading not guilty.

Soccer admits it must do more for its players.

BEN BUCKLEY: All sports, and I guess football is part of that, has a very big job to do to ensure
that our players, our officials, our staff, treat women the utmost respect, understand the
expectations of them as role models in society.

KAREN BARLOW: The AFL too has come out today and admitted a murky past, but stresses it has
changed.

ANDREW DEMETRIOU, AFL CEO (on 'Radio 3AW'): I'm sure that we've had a similar culture in the past.
There's no doubt about that, and I would go broader than that: it's not just a culture that
prevails in AFL football or NRL, it prevails in lots of workplaces.

KAREN BARLOW: Virtually all professional sports in Australia hold drug and alcohol education
sessions with consultant Paul Dylan that bring up the issue of sexual consent.

PAUL DYLAN, DRUG AND ALCOHOL CONSULTANT: It's discussed they all must attend. They all must
contribute. So, definitely this has been covered.

KAREN BARLOW: But this is his take on how some sportsmen disregard his message.

PAUL DYLAN: We live in a world where young men have this pack mentality. I think we get lost on
this whole thing of treatment of women because I think it's much more than that. It's when young
men get together. If we went one-to-one with many of these sports stars, let me tell you, they
would not be behaving like this.

KAREN BARLOW: Paul Dylan says professional sportswomen are also known to behave badly, particularly
with alcohol abuse, but he says they just don't have the same spotlight on them. Karen Barlow,
Lateline.