Football: Police on scene after altercation at end of S’pore Premier League game

Tampines Rovers captain Yasir Hanapi (with headband) was involved in a verbal altercation with members of Tanjong Pagar United's coaching staff. PHOTO: FAS

SINGAPORE - A fiery end to one of the final games of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) season saw police show up at Our Tampines Hub after the Tampines Rovers-Tanjong Pagar United clash on Thursday night.

Near the end of the match, which Tampines won 4-3, Tanjong Pagar head coach Hasrin Jailani and team manager Noh Alam Shah were seen angrily gesticulating towards the stands, as they were held back by team and SPL officials.

It is understood they were directing their anger towards Tampines captain Yasir Hanapi, who had been substituted and took his place in the stands behind the Tampines bench.

Sources say Yasir had exchanged words with Hasrin and Alam Shah in the 86th minute, after a hard tackle by Tanjong Pagar defender Shahrin Saberin on Stags’ midfielder Zehrudin Mehmedovic earned Shahrin a yellow card.

When Singapore midfielder Yasir was replaced one minute later by Rezza Rezky, members of the Tanjong Pagar bench spoke to referee Taqi Jahari and pointed at Yasir as he left the field.

It is unclear which party called the police, but witnesses told The Straits Times that officers later arrived on the scene.

In response to queries, a police spokesman said: “On 20 October 2022 at 9.50pm, the Police received a call for assistance at 1 Tampines Walk.

“Upon Police’s arrival, the situation was under control. The parties involved were advised to keep the peace and no injuries were reported. No further Police assistance was required.”

A Tanjong Pagar spokesman declined comment but added the club would wait for the match commissioner’s report before deciding on their next move.

Tampines chairman Desmond Ong also declined to share details of what happened, but said: “Unfortunately what was a very intriguing game of football between two contrasting styles was overshadowed by these incidents towards the end of the game.

“Football is a very passionate sport and, as we’ve already seen this season, passions can run over. Ultimately there’s a lot of mutual respect between the teams.”

Ong was referring to a highly publicised incident between his team and the Lion City Sailors in July.

The Sailors head coach at the time, former South Korea striker Kim Do-hoon, headbutted Tampines assistant coach Mustafic Fahrudin towards the end of the match which the Sailors won 2-1. In retaliation, Fahrudin later grabbed Kim by the throat.

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Both were later found guilty of violent conduct on Aug 10 and slapped with three-match bans and fines of $2,000 for Kim, and $3,000 for Fahrudin.

In addition, the Sailors and Tampines copped a $5,000 fine each for the conduct of their players, who were involved in a melee after the game.

Kim parted ways with the Sailors less than 24 hours after the punishments were handed down.

The SPL season will end on Friday after the final two games, with Japanese side Albirex Niigata already crowned champions.

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