Source : New SabahTimes
KOTA KINABALU: Referee Shawal Shariff’s “stupidity” created havoc at the Likas Stadium during the Sabah-KL PLUS FC Premier League tie last night.
The match that ended in a one-all draw saw the fans vent their anger by throwing plastic bottles and chairs onto the pitch to show their dissatisfaction against the man in black’s poor handling of the match.
The Sabah FA will certainly pay a heavy price for the fans’ action, but this incident may lead to the FA of Malaysia looking into the poor standard of refereeing in the Premier League more seriously as this not only happened last night.
Sabah have been the victims of poor refereeing in almost all of their home matches since the League kicked off in December last year.
With the “second grade” officials handling the Premier League matches, such ugly scenes will continue to occur unless the FAM puts its foot down on unqualified referees.
Last night, Shawal showed little consistency in his decisions right from the start and the fans finally had enough of his “stupidity” or rather his biased refereeing.
Plastic bottles, chairs and etc were seen thrown onto the pitch from the stands soon as Shawal blew the final whistle.
But instead of making an exit, Shawal and his two assistants Idzha and Ajam Salim were forced to wait for about half-an-hour on the pitch, before the Sabah FA President Datuk Anifah Aman tried to calm things down.
Anifah, who is also the FAM Vice President, was seen talking with the three match officials together with the match commissioner Kassim Kadir Bacha.
After a while, the match officials were safely returned to their “official room” accompanied by Anifah as well as other Sabah FA officials.
The arrival of City Police Chief ACP Ku Chin Wah and his officials finally cooled things down as fans, who were seen waiting outside the Stadium, slowly left the compound. When approached, Ku said no arrests were made, “they have all (the fans) dispensed”.
As for the case of the visiting KL PLUS FC squad, they were not the target of the fans and they safely returned to their dressing rooms.
The match was quite a scrappy one although KL Plus could have walked home with all the three points from the Likas Stadium.
However, they paid a heavy price for their time-wasting tactics as S. Sunder’s long-range effort helped Sabah to level the scoreline.
Muhd Badrul Hisini Abdul Rahman stunned the about 2,000 home fans when he put his side in front with a spot kick in the 52nd minute after P. Rajes was caught for hands ball inside the penalty box.
After taking the lead, KL Plus FC players were seen easily falling on the ground as they tried to delay the game while the referee didn’t seem to bother.
However, in the 76th minute KL PLUS were punished when out of the blue Sunder’s looping shot from 40 metres went straight into the back of the net. A KL PLUS player was seen lying on the ground as if hoping for the referee to stop the match, but to no avail.