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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

IS IT WORTH IT?


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is seeking fairness from the men in black as their promotion quest took a slight knock following the two-all draw with leaders KL Plus on Sunday.

They are also urging the FA of Malaysia to seriously look into the low standard of refereeing, which is rampant in the Premier League. Rahman Zakaria in expressing his dissatisfaction towards the standard of refereeing in the League said that they have been the victims of biased and one-sided refereeing far too many times, and they have had enough of it.

The Rhinos’ team manager said if the matter is left unattended, it may force them to think of the unthinkable. He said they have no intention to threaten anyone, but if this thing keeps haunting them, there is no point of competing. “We have been spending millions of ringgit and if we are not fairly treated, we might as well give it a serious thought … whether it is worth to compete in the M-League,” said Rahman.

“We respect FAM and we are not against the FAM. We have been very supportive as far as we can remember. However, as the parent body of football in the country, they need to look into this matter seriously.

“This is not only happening now, but it has been dragging on for years. And we have suffered enough! “We must try to find ways to put this to an end because if this continues it would slow down the development of the sport. At the same time, Rahman also urge the referees’ committee to be more sensible when picking the man to take charge of crucial matches.

“For a big game or important game, they must try to consider an experienced referee to officiate the match. “Last night (Sabah versus KL Plus) the referee was third class. He was not up to the mark. And to make matters worse, he was penalising our players too easily. “Four of our players received bookings. We are not questioning the referee’s decision to book Dragic (Dalibor – unsporting behaviour) or Mohd Nafuzi Zain (tackle from behind), but I don’t know why Salvester Sindeh and Eddie Gapil were shown the yellow card.

“If the duo deserved yellow cards for what they have done, then I think the referee should have shown yellow cards to a few more KL Plus players, who committed far more serious fouls.

“In this case, if reflects the biasness of the referee who intentionally tried to find fault with our players. Rahman said it’s not that they cannot accept defeat, but the action of the referees demoralises the Rhinos, and indirectly affects their chances of winning. Rahman then went on to suggest that FAM consider bringing in neutral referees from outside the country. “That is just one of the things that we could do to sort out this problem,” said Rahman.

After Sunday’s game, the one point gained helped Sabah to claim the fourth spot on 34 points – 10 points behind the leaders – KL Plus, who have played one game more.

Kuala Muda Naza are second on 42 points, followed by Kelantan on 38.

Sabah’s next game is an away battle against Kuala Muda Naza on April 4.

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