KOTA KINABALU: Match official Nagor Amir Noor Mohamad made a ‘big blunder’ after controversially cancelling Sabah’s Malaysian Super League tie against Harimau Muda A at the Likas Stadium on technical grounds last night.
The man in black from Kuala Lumpur cited that the white lines (overall) of the field at Sabah’s home den were not visually clear.
He used article 3.8.4 under the competition rules in canceling the tie where it stipulated that if a match official is not fully satisfied with the condition of the venue, he can cancel the match.
And now Sabah face the possibility of not only losing six points but will also have to cover the cost of the visiting team if the FA of Malaysian Competition Committee is to stick to the decision.
As under the rule, the home team will lose the tie 0-3 and will also be deducted at least another three points (if the decision stays).
The home team will also have to cover the expenses of the visiting team, who will be awarded the winners with a 3-0 scoreline.
The official could have been more considerate or at least allowed the host – Sabah – to try to rectify the problem, which he didn’t do.
The big question mark is why he only decided to say a ‘no-game’ a mere 10 minutes before the kick-off time (8.15pm) although the official announcement was only made at about 9.10pm.
The official had all the time to make known the problem or problems to the host, and furthermore it was raining and the white lines which are water based paint are bound to be washed away.
The Sabah FA officials, especially its Secretary General Alijus Hj Sipil were seen trying to fight their cause, but the match official stuck to his guns arrogantly.
When met later, Alijus said they will fight the decision and prove the decision was wrong.
“It was not the right decision and we will prove to them that the match should have been played as scheduled,” said Alijus.
He went on to say that “according to some of our senior officials, this has happened in the past but the match official during that time allowed us to improve the conditions on the field instead of cancelling the match outright.”
And should Sabah fail in fighting their cause there is a big possibility of Sabah pulling out from the Malaysian Super League as the decision by the match official is as good as ‘daylight robbery’.
Some 3,000 disappointed fans left the stadium.
Some even vented their anger demanding for a refund of their tickets while some also shouted injustice was done to Sabah, as they did not know the truth that it was the match official – Nagor – the man that cancelled the match.
Sabah coach and manager Gary Phillips and other officials were also seen clearly disappointed with the decision.
Phillips together with his coaching staff made their own inspections on the field, and saw no reason or reasons for the cancellation.
It was only on Thursday (March 10) that Sabah hosted Bandar Penawar Sports School in a President’s Cup match at the same venue.
One ponders … are our referees practising double standards!!!
Fans who wish for a refund can do so on Monday and go to the FA office at the Maksak Hall in Likas.
For the record, Sabah’s next home game is against Perak on April 9, but before that they play two consecutive away ties to T-Team on April 2 and Felda Muda on April 5.