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Weak refereeing can tarnish shine of Malaysia Cup

25/11/2021 06:11 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 -- Poor quality of refereeing is capable of 'killing off' the shine of the prestigious Malaysia Cup competition which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Ahead of the two semi-finals in the famed tournament tomorrow, the controversy involving the decision-making of match officials should not be a matter of concern after 90 minutes of play.

In fact, the issue should not even arise at all in the high-profile action of a major tournament, opined former national elite referee Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh, who is a technical division instructor at the International Football Association (FIFA).

"So many matches have been played, including in the Super League and Premier League. Actually the quality of refereeing should be improving, more so in the semi-finals where the referee's performance should have reached its peak.

"If you follow the performance graph, the (appointed) referee is capable enough to officiate the match well and if we make a selection, usually the best referee is chosen," added the former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) elite referee when contacted by Bernama.

In the (Nov 26) semi-final return-leg ties, Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) will take on Terengganu FC (TFC) at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium, Iskandar Puteri while Melaka United FC will face Kuala Lumpur City FC at the Hang Jebat Stadium. The final will be on Nov 30.

Without undermining the ability of those responsible for the appointment of referees at the domestic level, Subkhiddin explained that the process of selecting referees in the AFC and FIFA for a high-intensity match is done carefully based on the level of performance.

According to him, in every competition organised by the AFC and FIFA, the line-up of referees appointed will be evaluated throughout the preliminary round and only those who show the best performance will be selected to serve in the second round.

"Just after the round of 16 (second round), we choose the best referees for the quarter-finals and the next stage of semi-finals, until the (Cup) final. That is what we do in competitions at the highest level,” said Subkhiddin, who is also the former chairman of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Referees Committee.

The quality of the man in black has once again come into sharp focus to become prevalent gossip, even raising eyebrows in the first semi-final match of the 2021 Malaysia Cup between TFC and JDT at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Kuala Terengganu, which ended in a 1-1 draw on Monday (Nov 22).

It came to a point of exasperation, with several incidents of rough going unpunished.


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