Friday, 7 February 2014 | MYT 11:08 PM
T-Team: We speak the truth
A file picture of Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said. He slammed the decision by FAM to award JDT the win in the FA Cup second round match against T- Team.
PETALING JAYA: T-Team are ready to swear on the Quran to prove that they are not lying about their player and fitness coach being assaulted by a Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) official and his escort during last week’s FA Cup second round match at the Larkin Stadium.
The team gave this assurance after Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said asked the Muslim players in the team as well as coach Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah to swear on the holy scripture as proof that they are telling the truth about last week’s tunnel bust-up.
“Next Monday or Tuesday, I will ask the players, the team official involved in the incident and Irfan Ghani to swear on the Quran,” said Ahmad on Friday.
“We have lodged a police report and so have JDT ... so everyone claims he is speaking the truth. Let’s swear on the Al Quran as Muslims.”
Ahmad had specifically mentioned Irfan because the Johor-born T-Team defender had, on Wednesday, told a press conference in Johor Baru that no untoward incident happened at the Larkin Stadium and that everything had been over-exaggerated.
Azraai said that his Muslim players had no qualms about swearing on the Quran to prove that they are telling the truth.
“We have no problem ... we support the Mentri Besar’s suggestion that we swear on the Al Quran,” said Azraai.
“I think we are doing the right thing ... we are not lying and have nothing to be afraid of.”
Last Saturday, T-Team refused to come out for the second half of their FA Cup second round match against JDT following the tunnel incident during the half-time break (with JDT leading 2-1).
On Sunday, T-Team striker Evaldo 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 pertaining to the Larkin Stadium bust-up.
Brazilian striker Goncalves alleged that he was punched in the nose by a top Johor FA official while Impagliazzo claimed he was kicked in the groin by the official’s escort in the Larkin Stadium tunnel.
Then on Monday, the Johor Football Association (JFA) lodged a police report alleging that JDT coach Cesar Jimenez was assaulted by a fitness coach and a striker from T-Team.
On Thursday, JDT were awarded a 3-0 win by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
Ahmad slammed that decision, accusing FAM of being inconsistent with their decisions.
He brought up last year’s Pahang-JDT fiasco as an example.
Last year, JDT walked out of the FA Cup quarter-final, second-leg match against Pahang citing security concern at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan.
Pahang were slapped with a RM100,000 fine for failing to provide adequate security and their fans’ unruly behaviour. JDT were also fined RM20,000 for leaving the stadium without permission.
The match was then replayed at a neutral ground – the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
“That match saw JDT walking out but it was replayed at a neutral venue. FAM must be consistent with their decisions,” he said.
“T-Team are not stupid to walk out of the match (against JDT) ... there was still 45 minutes left to play. The team pulled out because of security concerns and FAM should have considered that factor.
“I’ve been told that the team bus was escorted by police until Mersing ... that shows that it was a security concern and the team didn’t pull out for no reason.”