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Better safe than sorry


FEAR: Selangor and Perak coaches refrain from criticising ref’s diabolical decisions

ALTHOUGH disappointed with some of the controversial refereeing decisions in Lumut on Tuesday, Perak and Selangor preferred not to criticise the match officials for fear of disciplinary action.

Despite playing the entire second half with 10 men, Selangor drew first blood through Forkey Doe before Abdul Hadi Yahya's penalty leveled the proceedings for Perak in a tense Super League match, marred by poor refereeing.

The FA of Malaysia (FAM), which has taken stern action against coaches for making negative comments about match officials in the past, should make more efforts to improve the quality of refereeing.

Referee Zulkifli Ahmad issued six yellow cards and had Selangor's Amri Yahyah dismissed three minutes before half-time.

Perak had a goal in each half controversially disallowed for offside.

Amri was on a yellow card for "diving" when the referee gave him a red card for questioning his decision.

"We are unhappy with the red card. The Selangor FA has filed an appeal with FAM in regard to the referee's decision," said Selangor coach Irfan Bakti yesterday.

"Amri was merely pointing out a mistake by the referee for awarding Perak a throw-in but he was sent off for that. I was nearby and Amri neither used foul language nor showed a bad sign to the referee."

With Amri out, Irfan will have to reshuffle his squad for tomorrow's FA Cup first round match against Armed Forces.

"Amri is out while S. Kunanlan (groin) and Bunyamin Umar (knee) are on the crock list," Irfan added.

Perak coach Azraai Khor Abdullah declined to comment about some of the referee's decisions.

"We blew it. We missed too many opportunities despite playing against a 10-man Selangor for at least 50 minutes," said Azraai in Ipoh yesterday.

"Yes, our goals were disallowed for offside but I do not want to comment on those decisions. I am, however, happy with a point as I fielded a depleted side."

Azraai had several President's Cup players on the bench as four regulars, French striker Karim Rouani (hamstring), skipper Shahrulnizam Mustapha (ankle), striker S. Chanturu (knee) and defender V. Thirumurugan (knee) were all carrying injuries.

The 61-year-old coach brought on Perak's President's Cup top scorer Khairul Asyraf Shaizah, Norhakim Isa and Syahmil Khairi as replacements for national trainee Yong Kuong Yong, Mohd Nasir Basharudin and Shahron Abdul Kalam, who all sustained injuries in the second half.

"Except for Kuong Yong, the other two are unlikely to play against Darul Takzim in the FA Cup first round match in Johor Baru," said Azraai.

"It is going to be tough as I may have to do without six regulars."

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