PETALING JAYA, Sept 11 –The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) will have to seriously look into the standard of refereeing in the Malaysian Football League. Except for a handful, the match officials in the Premier League, especially, are of mediocre standards.

Those who watched the Negeri Sembilan-Sarawak United top-of-the-table clash on Friday at the KLFA Stadium, Cheras, will agree that the 1-0 win secured by Negeri Sembilan was a farce.
Referee Kamil Zakaria Ismail allowed Negri Sembilan the injury-time winner by Francis Kone although it is clear that Sarawak United defender Badrul Affendy (pic left) was elbowed in the six-yard box before he scored the header. The injury left Badrul with a deep gash on his right eyebrow.
Earlier, Kamil Zakaria red-carded Sarawak United goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee in the 68th minute after the former international raised his leg in a 50-50 situation when Negeri Sembilan’s Zamri Ramli clattered into him.
A yellow card would have been more appropriate but the referee chose to give the former international a red card. Kamil Zakaria also awarded Negri Sembilan a penalty which Francis Kone, however, skied the ball from the spot.
Substitute goalkeeper Shaiful Wazizi took over the job between the posts and did a marvelous job while his teammates did extremely well despite the numerical disadvantage after Sharbinee was told to take an early shower.
It was a crucial match which both teams wanted to win. A win for the Golden Hornbills would have given the East Malaysian outfit the silverware. With the outcome going against them the title chase has now gone down the wire.
Negeri Sembilan will play Police at home while Sarawak United will travel to Johor Bahru to face JDT II to complete their league fixtures on Sept 21. For the record, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak United have already won promotion to the elite Super League next season.
Sarawak United head coach E. Elavarasan is visibly upset with the match officials but believes the FAM referees committee would pick experienced match officials for crucial matches (like the Sarawak United – Negeri Sembilan match where a lot was at stake).
It must be noted that teams spend millions on their teams to win titles and the FAM needs to help these teams for professional football is to prevail.
The FAM referees committee should have picked a much more experienced referee….not someone who spent more time on the field as a fourth official.

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