T-Team's Brazilian player Evaldo Goncalves (right) back in training two days after the alleged assault on him and fitness trainer in the FA Cup match against JDT on Saturday. - ZABIDI TUSIN/The Star
KUALA TERENGGANU: The foreigners in Terengganu football club T-Team FC are worried for their safety after Saturday’s incident during their FA Cup second round match against Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Baru.
Central defender Fabio Flor de Azevado, striker Evaldo Goncalves and fitness coach Stefano Impagliazzo, all Brazilians, are hoping the police can guarantee their safety and that action will be taken against the perpetrators.
“We have only been in Malaysia for two months and never expected this happen. We are only here to play football. We are worried about our safety. Hopefully, the police or the FA of Malaysia (FAM) will do what is necessary,” said Azevado, 33, when met at T-Team’s training session yesterday.
Goncalves was allegedly punched in the nose by a top official and Impagliazzo kicked in the groin by the official’s escort in the Larkin Stadium tunnel when the two teams were trooping out at half-time during their FA Cup second round clash on Saturday.
JDT were leading 2-1 at that time.
T-Team refused to come out for the second half and the match was abandoned.
De Azevado claimed that he was verbally abused and threatened by the same official.
“Our family members are very concerned after watching what happened on television. We want them to watch us play well on TV ... not this,” said Azevado.
Goncalves, also 33, said he wasn’t too affected by the incident.
“I just want to focus on football, which is what I am here for in Malaysia,” said the T-Team No. 16.
Impagliazzo admitted that such incidents “happen in football” and wanted to get on with his coaching duties.
“Let’s leave it to the authorities to handle the case,” he said.
The trio lodged police reports at the Kuala Terengganu district police headquarters on Sunday night.