Threee red cards marred Negeri Sembilan’s 1-0 win over Felda United in a Super League match at Paroi on Saturday which also saw a players altercation with fans.
Felda’s Hardi Jaafar and Hamsani Ahmad both had to be restrained by security personnel after being provoked by Negeri fans while Negeri’s S. Kunanlan and Felda’s Farid Ramli were both sent off just before half-time after an incident which nearly led to a free-for-all.
Hardi was also shown the red card after the final whistle after reacting to Jean-Emmanuel Owona’s alleged spitting at him in a match which also saw eight yellow cards flashed.
Referee Azman Jamaluddin’s match report should make for interesting reading and it remains to be seen whether the FA of Malaysia (FAM) will take action against both teams for failing to control their players.
Felda coach E. Ellavarasan said emotions got out of control as both teams went blow-for-blow to win the match.
“It was a high-tension match. Both sides were giving it their best and trying to stop each other from scoring. It was a good game. that’s why it was so tense,” said Ellavarasan, who declined to comment on the referee’s performance.
In a match always simmering on the edge, left-back Farid and winger Kunanlan came to blows after the former’s tackle on the latter in first-half stoppage time leading to Azman to sending them off.
Shahurain Abu Samah’s 53rd minute goal was all that separated the two teams but matters got out of hand after the game ended.
Hardi was sent off for reacting to Owona’s alleged spitting at him while goalkeeper Hamsani, who had been taunted throughout the game, had a bottle thrown at him while walking off the pitch.
When he approached the grandstand heading to the dressing room, a spectator reached out to take a swing at Hamsani while an unidentified Felda player was seen in television images wading into the grandstand to confront the errant fan.
The incredible scenes left a dark mark on the game and Felda had to be given a police escort when leaving the stadium.
Fans turning unruly is no longer an isolated occurrence in Malaysian football with bottle-throwing becoming endemic in football culture.
FAM has previously resorted to handing out stiff fines to teams for lack of security but will now have to consider more stringent punishment, including playing to empty stadiums, to get the message across.