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Coach in trouble for ‘tapping’ player

Thursday March 24, 2005

Coach in trouble for ‘tapping’ player

BY RIZAL ABDULLAH

JOHOR BARU: Johor FC coach Raul Carrizo has run foul with New South Wales’ Premier League club Sydney Olympics who have threatened to report him to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for “unprofessional ethics”. 

The Sydney Olympics board met on Tuesday to discuss the matter after Carrizo negotiated with one of the club’s players, Zenon Caravella, to sign up for Johor FC. 

It did not go down well with the Australian club, who had earlier released three of their players to play for Johor FC. The three are John David Harding, Richard Luksic and Fiji international Esala Masinisau. 

Of the three, Johor FC terminated Harding’s contract two days ago for his below par performances. Johor FC, who are struggling to get their act together in the Premier League, were desperate to sign up a midfielder and Carrizo felt that Caravella fitted the bill. 

Sydney Olympics coach Michael Urukalo said in a telephone interview from Sydney yesterday that they took a serious view of Carrizo approaching the 24-year-old Caravella directly instead of going through the proper channel. 

“This is not acceptable in professional football. We are contemplating reporting Raul to the AFC for his behaviour,” said Urukalo, who coached Johor to a double in 1991 – the League and Malaysia Cup. 

Caravella is the nephew of current Australian national coach Frank Farina and has been hailed as a top class attacking midfielder. 

“He is one of the best players around and I rank him very highly,” said Urukalo. “We understand Johor FC’s predicament but Zenon has no desire to play in Malaysia.” 

Johor FC take on Negri Sembilan at the JCorp Stadium in Pasir Gudang on Sunday before the league takes a month-long break for the national team to compete in Islamic Solidarity Games in Jeddah next month. 

The Hornets need nothing less than a win to stay in contention in Group B. Negri is in second place in the eight-team group with 15 points while Johor FC are sixth with only six points.  

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