PETALING JAYA, Sept 18 – Newly promoted Sarawak United has been virtually left crippled by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) Disciplinary Board, chaired by Datuk Baljit Singh Sidhu, with a spate of suspensions and hefty fines on players and officials, for various offences in the match against Negeri Sembilan at the KLFA Stadium, Cheras, on Sept 10.
In an ill-tempered match, Negeri Sembilan edged Sarawak United 1-0 in a top of the table Premier League clash – a match that was the focus of the football fraternity as both teams are in battle for the title.
While the Disciplinary Board came down hard on the Sarawak United players and officials, what about referee Kamil Zakaria and other match officials? Kamil Zakaria was cleared of any wrong doing when he was the main actor in the scenario.
What about the Sarawak defender Badrul Affendy who was elbowed and left with a deep gash on his right eyebrow.
Frantic appeals by the Sarawak United players were just ignored with Francis Kone netting the winner with a header for Negeri Sembilan’s win following the incident. It was this situation that “worked up” the Sarawak United players and led to the after match scenario.
No one is questioning the outcome of the match but has the FAM given a thought for his poor handling of the match. It was a big match in every sense and the two teams will now only know their fate as to will win the title when the final Premier League matches are played this Tuesday.
Negeri Sembilan will be at home to Police at the Stadium Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Paroi, Seremban while Sarawak United travel to Johor Bahru for the away match against JDT II at the Larkin Stadium.
What about the match officials who blundered in Negeri Sembilan’s defeat to Kelantan FC in Kota Bharu by allowing five substitutions. This shows the referee and the match officials were ignorant of the rules and yet allowed to officiate matches.
The match officials were not named but a report by the FAM said they (without naming them) have been suspended.
Kelantan FC was fined RM30,000 for the folly of the match officials. That fine imposed by the FAM hurts. Do some soul searching FAM and stop protecting the match officials.
Referees must be respected, says FAM Referees Committee chairman Datuk S. Sivasundaram,  but do the referees respect teams when the whistle is the all powerful tool that has often been abused by them?
Are the referees and match officials the so called “untouchables”? This is ruining the game in the country. It is not accusing the referees just for the sake of accusing them (but there a couple of them) who don’t deserve to be match officials.
No doubt we have have made the grade as Fifa referees who have made the grade to officiate at major international tournaments but there are only a handful of them. We salute them.
The Disciplinary Board found Sharbinee Allawee guilty for gross indiscipline and was fined RM7,000 while Badrul Affendy was handed a RM4,000 fine and banned for four matches while Amer Saideli was fined RM2,000 and suspended for two matches.
Head coach E. Elavarasan was slapped with a hefty RM10,000 fine apart from a 12 months suspension (suspended).
Another team official Abang Fomay was fined RM10,000 with two match suspension. Another official Rudy Bujang was given a six-month suspension with a RM10,000 fine.
All suspensions can be appealed but heavier sentences await for repeat offenders.

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