By K. RAJAN
PETALING JAYA: Johor’s Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has become the second state FA president to be banned by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) for breaching Article 88 of the FAM Statute this year.
The disciplinary committee yesterday slapped Tunku Ismail with a six-month ban and RM18,000 fine after he had pleaded guilty to breaching two charges under the statute.
Tunku Ismail had hit out at the poor standard of refereeing in the M-League, claiming that FAM had not done much to improve the quality of match officials. He had also questioned FAM’s credibility in curbing match-fixing.
Tunku Ismail made the statements at a press conference at the Thistle Hotel in Johor Baru after Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) were held to a 2-2 draw by Lions XII in a Super League match at the Larkin Stadium on Feb 19.
Last month, Perlis FA president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim was slapped with a two-and-a-half-year ban and fined a total of RM39,000 for criticising FAM.
Under Article 88, only the FAM president and secretary-general are allowed to make statements pertaining to the national squad and FAM management.
Tunku Ismail later issued a press release saying that he “respects and accepts the punishment meted out by FAM”.
“I accept the decision of FAM and this matter is considered closed,” said Tunku Ismail.
“I will make sure our team become strong and among the best in the country. I also hope that Johor football fans will conduct themselves in a disciplined manner during matches.”
Last year, Kelantan FA president and FAM deputy president Tan Sri Annuar Musa was banned for 30 months for making a negative statement about the national football team.
FAM disciplinary committee chairman Datuk Taufik Tan Sri Abdul Razak said that Tunku Ismail was handed a lighter sentence “due to several reasons”.
“There are several levels of punishment under the FAM Disciplinary Code for this offence and the committee decided that the punishment meted out was based on those specific reasons,” Taufik told a press conference after the disciplinary committee meeting at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.
“Annuar Musa and Shahidan were given harsher sentences as they were senior officials in the FAM and have been heading their respective State FAs for a long time.
“Tunku Ismail has only headed Johor FA for less than six months and he pleaded guilty to the two charges … Shahidan and Annuar submitted incomplete defence forms and pleaded not guilty respectively.”
JDT were also fined RM30,000 for failing to control their supporters, who let off a flare, during their Super League match against Negri Sembilan at the Larkin Stadium last week.
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