JDT players applaud the crowd as they head off to the tunnel after their FA Cup tie against T-Team was abandoned.
PETALING JAYA: Again, all eyes will be on the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for the wrong reasons.
The competitions committee will deliberate the infamous Larkin Stadium “tunnel” incident in Kelana Jaya on Thursday.
The controversy is over the FA Cup second round match between Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and T-Team which was abandoned on Saturday.
It is a unique situation. The previous M-League abandoned matches were due to crowd violence or fan invasion of the pitch.
This time, a visiting team chose to walk out after a bust-up took place in the Larkin Stadium tunnel when the two teams were trooping out at half-time (with JDT leading 2-1). T-Team decided not to resume play in the second half due to “safety reasons”.
The competition rules state that the match commissioner has the right to decide on the status of a match - whether it should be postponed or not.
In the tunnel incident, Brazilian striker Edvaldo Goncalves alleged that he was punched in the nose by a top JDT official while fitness coach Stefano Impagliazzo was kicked in the groin by the official’s escort during the scuffle.
Another Brazilian, defender Fabio Flor de Azevado, claims he was verbally abused and threatened by the same official.
Police reports have been lodged by all three.
T-Team’s chief operating officer Mohd Syahrizan Mohd Zain also lodged a report at the Kuala Terengganu district police headquarters on Sunday. It is learnt that the reports were lodged to ensure “the safety of T-Team’s players” and named the “president of the Johor FA” as the perpetrator.
Competitions committee chairman Datuk Affandy Hamzah will have his hands full deciding the next course of action.
The fact remains that JDT were on the pitch to resume the second half while the visitors had packed their bags and gone home.
Will the game resume for the remaining 45 minutes in Larkin? Or will it be played behind closed doors or continued at a neutral venue? Will one of the teams be penalised and the other given a walk-over into the next round? It’s anyone’s guess.
FA Cup second round match between Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and T-Team at the Larkin Stadium. Game abandoned after T-Team staged a walk-out after half-time following a bust-up between a senior JDT official and a couple of T-Team players as the teams were leaving the field. JDT were leading 2-1.
T-TEAM lodged police reports alleging that a top Johor FA official had assaulted two of their players and fitness coach. Striker Edvaldo Goncalves, defender Fabio Flor de Azevado, fitness coach Stefano Impagliazzo and the club’s chief operating officer Mohd Syahrizan Mohd Zain lodged reports at the Kuala Terengganu district police headquarters on Sunday.
THE Terengganu FA (TFA) want the FAM to investigate the alleged assault of T-Team players and the fitness coach during the FA Cup second round match. TFA president Datuk Wan Ahmad Nizam Wan Abdul Hamid said FAM must launch a thorough investigation.
FAM general secretary Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin promised that stern action will be taken once they receive the match commissioner’s report. “We will get the match commissioner’s report on Monday ... the competitions committee will hold a meeting on Thursday to decide on the outcome of the match,” said Hamidin yesterday.
THE Youth and Sports Ministry prefer not to be involved in the altercation at the Larkin Stadium between officials and players of JDT and T-Team. Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said it was an “incident for the FAM and other relevant bodies to investigate thoroughly and objectively”.
JDT coach Cesar Jimenez lodged a police report over the alleged incident in the tunnel heading to the dressing room at the Larkin Stadium. According to his lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh Siddhu, Jimenez in his report had stated he was the victim of an alleged assault.
T-TEAM defender Irfan Abdul Ghani holds a press conference in Johor and claimed that no untoward incident happened in the Larkin Stadium tunnel during the match. Irfan said T-Team assistant coach Azlan Johar was the one who called for the team to pack up and abandon the match.
T-TEAM assistant coach Azlan Johor hits back at allegations made by Irfan. “The incident occurred at half-time when players were heading into the tunnel. As Irfan was a reserve player for that match, he and the other substitutes remained on the pitch, so he could not have seen what had happened.”
T-TEAM COO Mohd Syahrizan Mohd Zain said they would take action against Irfan for holding a press conference without the management’s permission. “He has indeed breached the management’s rules. We will decide how to deal with him. For now, we will leave the case to the police to investigate”.