Bother for Sydney FC's Ryall "very much a storm in a teacup"

The legal reps for Sydney FC defender Sebastian Ryall have described a charge of sexual intercourse with a minor as "very much a storm in a teacup".

Ryall, 19, has been suspended until September 3 by FFA while he fights the charge in the NSW District Court, brought about by an incident that allegedly occurred at Mona Vale on January 25, 2008, when he was 18.

The Age says it's believed that because a triple-0 call was made at the time by another party, police were obliged to press charges, subsequently prosecuted by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The charge of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 10 and 14 years was laid last August, but it was not until the matter was mentioned in the NSW District Court last month that Sydney FC and FFA became aware of it.

"It's very much a storm in a teacup," said Ryall's lawyer, Robert Stephen. "There is a weak Crown case, and a strong defence one. But the DPP are locked into it because of the category."

Stephen added he would be appealing FFA's ban on the grounds it was "excessive under the circumstances". The ban prevents Ryall from training or playing with Sydney FC and also applies to playing in national teams.