By FARIK ZOLKEPLI
KUALA TERENGGANU: The Terengganu FA have suspended coach Peter Butler for six months and fined him RM4,000 for issuing a statement to the media without the approval of the team management.
Butler had alleged that Ismail Faruqi and Muslim Ahmad had breached discipline by breaking curfew and bringing women back to their hotel room before the Malaysia Cup match against Kedah in Alor Star on Aug 28.
Butler was also docked 15% of his month’s salary for pushing and cursing at goalkeeper Ahmad Sharbinee Allawee after the latter was substituted during the return match against Kedah in Kuala Terengganu on Sept 1.
Butler had pulled off Ahmad Sharbinee after he fumbled a corner kick into his own net. The coach spoke of foul play and this prompted the ongoing match-fixing investigation into the team by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC).
Terengganu FA disciplinary committee chairman Ahmad Shukri Zakaria said the decision was made after investigating the controversies involving the coach and players.
Muslim and Ismail were given a stern warning and fined RM1,000 each for sneaking out and returning to the hotel at about 3am prior to the away match against Kedah.
“Both admitted to the offence but denied bringing women back to the hotel,” he said.
Ahmad Sharbinee was also given a stern warning and fined RM1,000 for throwing a water bottle at Butler when he was substituted.
The committee also docked Liberian striker Francis Forkey Doe 10% of a month’s pay for elbowing and kicking a Kedah player in an off-the-ball incident. Doe had been fined RM2,000 and suspended for four matches by the FA of Malaysia over the incident.
FA president Datuk Che Mat Jusoh said Butler’s suspension would take effect today.
“The committee chairman will issue the official letters tomorrow,” he said.
“Butler has been suspended in his capacity as football director and assistant coach Khalid Mat Dahan will take over for now,” Che Mat said, adding that Butler had seven days to appeal.
Asked if Butler, whose contract only expires in November 2013, would be replaced, Che Mat said the FA would have to if the Englishman chose to leave.
He added the investigations showed no evidence that Muslim and Ismail had brought women back to the hotel as alleged.
“We doubt that they did this as the team stayed on one floor with the rooms next to each other,” he said.
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