Men’s U-23 given stern warning after rowdy behaviour

PETALING JAYA: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has issued a stern warning to the national Under-23 squad not to repeat their rowdy behaviour of attacking the referee in their Sea Games match against Vietnam which they lost 1-3 Sunday.

FAM has also issued a ban on the national women’s football team, who have turned out to be the bashing girls at the Games, from competing at the international level from next year.

The decisions were announced by FAM deputy president Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar after an FAM meeting at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya Monday.

“The FAM today received a report from the Malaysian team manager in Vientiane about the dissatisfactory refereeing, and that he had lodged an official complaint with the competition organisers,” said Khairy.

He said the FAM too, through the team manager, had issued a stern warning to the national Under-23 players not to repeat their disgraceful behaviour in their two remaining matches in Group A.

“Even if the quality of refereeing was below par or they disagreed with the referee’s decision, the players should not act on emotions. They must observe discipline at all times to reflect professionalism,” he said.

In their second match in Group A held at the Main Stadium, Laos National Sports Complex on Sunday, Malaysia lost 1-3, making their passage to the semi-finals a difficult one.

Malaysia are now third in the table in Group A after collecting three points from thrashing Timor Leste 11-0 last Wednesday.

Asked on Malaysia’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals, Khairy said the squad must win their two remaining matches in the group against Cambodia and defending champions Thailand in order to move into the last four.

On the very poor showing of the national women’s football squad, Khairy said the FAM decided that they and the women’s futsal team would not be allowed to compete internationally except in friendlies in the future.

“After two big defeats (0-14 to Thailand and 0-8 to Vietnam), which were an embarrassment to Malaysia, the FAM made that decision.

“The priority now is development programmes to strengthen the national football and futsal teams,” he said.- Bernama

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