KUALA LUMPUR: Kedah goalkeeper, Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim is not going to let the issue of the video apology by Facebook user Muhammad Ridzwan disrupt concentration, and instead will concentrate on training with the national Under-23 squad.
While admitting that he has watched the video, Ifwat however does not want to think too much about it because he wants to focus on fighting for a place in the team for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-23 Championship in Jiangsu, China next month.
This is because he will face stiff competition for a goalkeeping spot from three others, Haziq Nadzli (Johor Darul Ta’zim), Ahmad Syihan Hazmi Mohamed (Kelantan) and Amierul Hakimi Awang (Terengganu) to be included in coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s teamsheet.
“I have watched the video. For now I do not want to comment about it, only that if my other colleagues want to sue, then I will follow suit.
“But for now, I do not want to think about the issue because I need to focus on training with the National Under-23 squad.
“Even though such an issue is not a trivial matter because it involves serious accusations, I will just have to forget about it for now because I do not want to lose concentration and focus.
“This is because there is stiff competition for the three goalkeeping slots. All four of us have an equal chance so I need to be totally committed in training if I am to be one of the three goalkeepers to make the squad.
“So I need to put aside other issues including the allegations of bribery and ensuing video apology. If I am to take any action, then it will have to be after my mission with the Under-23 squad is over and done with.
“Anyway it has already become a police case, so let the police carry out the necessary investigations first,” he said.
Ifwat who is Kedah’s number one custodian for the past two seasons, is among six players who were accused of bribery after Kedah lost the Malaysia Cup final to Johor Darul Ta’zim on November 4th.
The other five players are Rizal Ghazali, Amirul Hisham Awang Kechik, Arif Farhan Md Isa, Syazwan Zainon and captain, Khairul Helmi Johari. Kedah coach Nidzam Adzha Yusoff has also been implicated.
The allegations were made by Ridzwan via his Facebook account, so much so the The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and police have recorded statements from Nidzam and the six players.
However, two days ago, Ridzwan came forward to ‘clear’ their names from bribery accusations by posting up a video apology which was uploaded onto his Facebook account.