INVESTIGATION: Darul Ta’zim awarded match but FAM to probe alleged altercationDARUL Ta'zim and Kuala Terengganu T-Team players and officials involved in the tunnel fracas during an FA Cup match on Feb 1 could face disciplinary charges from the FA of Malaysia (FAM).
Although FAM's competitions committee yesterday awarded that abandoned second round match at the Larkin Stadium to Darul Ta'zim, the matter is far from over.
FAM general secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin said the national governing body will leave no stone unturned in investigating the incident, regardless of the personalities involved.
"We will not compromise on this issue even if it means that the president of the Johor FA Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has to face the disciplinary committee," said Hamidin at Wisma FAM in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
"The investigation will be based on evidence and the reports from the match officials. Any action, if required, will be announced next week and the case forwarded to the disciplinary committee.
"We understand that police reports have been lodged but here at FAM we will follow our own procedures."
The competitions committee met yesterday for four and a half hours to decide on the outcome of the FA Cup match which Darul Ta'zim led 2-1 at half-time before T-Team failed to show for the second half.
It was the committee's unanimous decision to award the match to Darul Ta'zim 3-0 in accordance with the M-League competition rule 4.12.1 relating to abandoned matches.
"The committee studied the reports presented by the match officials and interviewed the referee, match commissioner, general coordinator and officials from both teams," said Hamidin.
"We are satisfied that T-Team withdrew without proper reason and accordingly, the match is awarded to Darul Ta'zim with a score of 3-0."
T-Team's reasoning for abandoning the match -- that they were concerned for their safety after player Evaldo Goncalves and fitness trainer Stefano Impagliazzo were allegedly punched in the face and kicked in the groin respectively in the Larkin Stadium tunnel -- was rejected by the committee.
"The issue of safety does not arise since the referee said the match was safe to continue," added competitions committee chairman Datuk Affendi Hamzah.
"It was not T-Team's decision to make. A decision to abandon a match can only be made by the referee.
"At no point did the referee say the match was unsafe to continue. T-Team were adamant it was not safe but that reason was not strong enough.
"In our decision, we also took into account that the atmosphere was fine, the referee was ready to restart the match and that the home team provided security guarantees."
No other action was taken against T-Team, who were represented by five officials including coach Azraai Khor Abdullah and assistant coach Azlan Johar yesterday, while assistant coach Ismail Ibrahim and Johor FA honorary secretary represented Darul Ta'zim.
With the decision, Darul Ta'zim advance to a two-legged quarter-final meeting with Kedah on Tuesday and Feb 18.
* In yesterday's NST report headlined 'No assault, says T-Team player', it was inadvertently reported that the incident happened at the Pasir Gudang Stadium. The error is regretted.
Read more: Far from over - Soccer - New Straits Times