PETALING JAYA: Teams cannot decide to call off a match. That is a decision for the match commissioner.
Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) competition committee chairman Datuk Seri Affandy Hamzah stressed that it’s not up to a team to call off a match.
On Feb 1, the FA Cup second round match between Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and T-Team was abandoned when the Terengganu club refused to come out after half-time (with JDT leading 2-1), citing “security reasons”.
T-Team striker Evaldo Goncalves, defender Fabio Flor de Azevado and fitness coach Stefano Impagliazzo had alleged that they were assaulted by a top Johor FA official and his bodyguard in the incident.
A week later, FAM’s competition committee took swift action by penalising T-Team for breaching the competition rules code 4.12.15B for “withdrawing from the game” and awarded a 3-0 win to JDT.
However, FAM’s decision to haul up JDT for breaching Article 28.1 of FAM’s disciplinary code on Tuesday has re-ignited the debate over T-Team’s decision to walk out of the match.
Article 28.1 covers the failure to provide adequate security personnel or failure to provide safety measures in line with FAM’s requirement to ensure the wellbeing of the teams, officials, players, spectators or supporters of the home and visiting teams.
Affandy, who is also FAM vice-president, said that the decision to punish T-Team was based on the rules of the game.
“The charge against JDT for breaching Article 28.1 might cover the incident that happened in the tunnel. However, I can’t comment on it because it’s under investigation by the disciplinary committee,” said Affandy on Friday.
“T-Team might have cited security reasons for walking out, but the match commissioner had said the game could have gone on. The decision to call off a match lies with the match commissioner; teams can’t simply walk out of a match.”
JDT have until March 11 to respond to FAM’s charge.
Speaking on a separate issue, Affandy said that the second transfer window for the M-League will open from March 23-April 21 for local players, and March 23-April 19 for foreign players.
The competition committee have also decided to allow M-League sides to have two over-age players from their senior teams to play in their respective President’s Cup squad.
However, the over-age players can only play in the league stage of the President’s Cup, which is an Under-21 competition.