KUALA TERENGGANU: The Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) decision to punish the Johor FA and not any individual or individuals involved in the alleged Larkin Stadium “tunnel assault” has left Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said fuming with rage.
The FAM had on Tuesday fined the Johor FA RM30,000 for the incident at the Larkin Stadium during an FA Cup match between Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and T-Team on Feb 1.
Ahmad chided the FAM disciplinary committee for failing in their duties because no charges were brought against any individual or individuals who were involved in the alleged incident.
JDT were let off with a slap on the wrist when the FAM imposed only a RM30,000 fine for failing to provide adequate security at the Larkin Stadium during their FA Cup second-round match against T-Team on Feb 1, which allegedly led to an incident in the tunnel during half-time while JDT were leading 2-1.
Datuk Taufek Abdul Razak, the FAM disciplinary committee chairman, had said Johor FA secretary Fahmy Yahya, who represented JDT at the disciplinary committee meeting, admitted there was a security lapse.
The Mentri Besar said the postponement of the case of the alleged assault of T-Team’s Brazilian imports Evaldo Goncalves and fitness coach Stefano Impagliazzo by a high-ranking JDT official, had elements that cannot be accepted by many.
“It is very strange because punishment was meted out due to inadequate security but who caused the situation to be not safe? There must have been an individual identified.
“Sometimes there are selective decisions. If we are the judge or committee for discipline, we must act without fear or favour. If not, it will be better to step down,” he told reporters after chairing a weekly state exco meeting here on Wednesday.
Ahmad said he was puzzled as to how the alleged “tunnel incident” had taken a back seat while the security lapse case was given priority.
“This is not about punishment. The question is I am not happy with how the FAM handled the case. Earlier they (FAM) said everyone will be called and I was informed by T-Team that until yesterday, nobody was called to give their statement.
“If it is a police case, that is a different issue because it will be investigated on a different platform. The association has its own rules and regulations and that is what we are asking them to do,” he said.
JDT’s failure to provide adequate security was believed to have resulted in the tunnel incident where T-Team striker Goncalves, defender Fabio Flor de Azevado and fitness coach Impagliazzo were allegedly assaulted by a high-ranking Johor FA official.
Asked about the outcome of the alleged involvement of a high-ranking Johor official who had assaulted T-Team players in the tunnel, Taufek had said the matter had been referred to the police as reports had been made.
During the alleged incident, T-Team refused to come out after half-time citing “security reasons”, resulting in the FAM competitions committee later penalising T-Team for breaching competition rules and awarding the match to JDT with a 3-0 score. — Bernama