Source : New SabahTimes
KOTA KINABALU: Rahman Zakaria has put the blame on the man in black for the ugly incident that occurred during the Sabah-KL PLUS FC Premier League tie at the Likas Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Rhinos’ team manager said the referee Shawal Shariff of Perak did not know what he was doing and made countless dubious decisions throughout the game – mostly against Sabah.
“The action taken by the referee was a little too much for the fans to take. He showed little consistency throughout the game. His action may have cost us dearly, but there is nothing much we can do (about the fans).
“It was beyond our control. The fans saw what happened and they felt cheated because the referee made so many blunders in his decisions.
“We will surely write to the FA of Malaysia regarding the incident,” Rahman said.
“If it was only one or two mistakes, I think the fans would have accepted it, but he made countless errors in his judgement.
“Now we may have to pay a heavy price for his (referee) action, because if not for his poor refereeing there was no reason for the fans to be upset and vent their anger.
“We lost a home game against Armed Forces and drew one-all against Kelantan, but then nothing happened. This shows that we do accept defeats or draws in our home or away games, but this is not the way to officiate a game.
“This man paints a bad image to the men in black and shouldn’t be allowed to be in the game because there are certainly many referees who have done pretty well out there.
“I think this low standard of refereeing is only ruining the M-League or the progress of the sport in the country,” Rahman said.
The match that ended in a one-all draw saw the fans vent their anger by throwing plastic bottles and chairs onto the pitch soon after Shawal blew the final whistle.
The obvious reason was the fans were dissatisfied with the referee’s poor handling of the match.
If not for the quick intervention by the Sabah FA President Datuk Anifah Aman and his officials, the situation could have been worse, as hundreds of fans were waiting for the referee and his two assistants to make their way out of the pitch.
However, sensing things were not right, Anifah and several officials, walked onto the pitch, and were seen having a word with the referee and his two assistants. Match Commissioner Kassim Kadir Bacha was also seen on the pitch.
After about 20 minutes, Anifah and several officials were seen accompanying the three match officials into their “official room” safely to clearly show that the FA is not anti-referee.
As Rahman admitted, the FA is likely to pay a heavy price for the fans’ action, not only from the FAM but also for the damage done to the stadium.
In the match, 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.
But Sabah scored the equaliser through S. Sunder, whose 40 metres looping shot went straight into the back of the KL PLUS FC net.