ON THE BALL … Charles Obi (No 10) is in control of the situation as team-mate Zainizam Marjan acts as a decoy during the Premier League match on Friday night. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

KOTA KINABALU: Rahman Zakaria is appealing to the FA of Malaysia (FAM) to look into the standard of refereeing in the M-League, which he described as below ‘satisfactory’.

The Rhinos’ team manager said something needs to be done to improve the quality of the men in black, as they are part and parcel of the development of the sport in the country.

“We have nothing against FAM. We are only expressing our concern by the decline in the standard of refereeing.

“And I firmly believe that we are not alone in raising this ‘poor refereeing’ issue, as several teams have voiced their concern on this matter.

“I think it is high time for everyone to find a solution to this because if this problem is left unattended, then the development of football in the country as a whole will be affected.

“On our case, poor refereeing has been the norm for almost all our games.

“In certain cases, it is obvious that the ref made bad decisions. We start to wonder whether they know or understand the law or the rules of the game or they are just bias,” Rahman said.

“I am not talking about all the referees because they are a few good referees around too.” Against Kelantan, Rahman said that the ref made several dubious decisions against Sabah.

“There were at least on two occasions in which he made a blunder. We don’t know what he had in mind, but if this is to go on, I think no one will be coming to watch our home games.

“The paying fans will not want to see this kind of poor refereeing; obviously they feel cheated.

“We are not seeking any favours or whatsoever from the referee, but what we want is a fair decision.

“Several fans came forward and wanted us to bring this matter up – right UP to a higher authority. We will try our utmost best to bring up this grave matter if an opportunity arises,” said Rahman.

On Sabah’s challenge, Rahman said: “I think we are still very much in good shape for the race. It’s only five games, but we really need to stand firm and fight out our remaining matches. We just can’t afford to keep slipping points away from our grasps.”

The Premier League is taking a one-month break and Sabah will see Premier League action only on February 13 against KL Plus FC in an away match.

“I can see that we are getting better in each game and I hope during this break we will rectify our weaknesses,” said Rahman.

However, prior to the League tie, Sabah begin their FA Cup campaign against Melaka at home on Feb 6 before playing their preliminary round Malaysia Cup campaign against Perak at the Likas Stadium.

Sabah is currently seventh in the standings with five points.


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