AFC awaits FAM report on fighting

The brawl on Friday was triggered off by UAE midfielder Mohammad Khalfan Eto (in red) elbowing Malaysian defender Adib Zainuddin.
The brawl on Friday was triggered off by UAE midfielder Mohammad Khalfan Eto (in red) elbowing Malaysian defender Adib Zainuddin.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

PETALING JAYA • The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has said it will submit a report to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) regarding the brawl between its Under-23 team and their United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterparts at the Shah Alam Stadium.

Friday's friendly ended in a 2-0 win for the hosts, who will compete at the upcoming Asian Games.

But it was marred by a brawl, sparked by UAE midfielder Mohammad Khalfan Eto's elbow on Malaysian defender Adib Zainuddin just before the final whistle.

The situation turned into a free-for-all with even UAE's backroom staff getting involved and throwing chairs at the Malaysian players.

FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam said in a statement that he and the national body president Hamidin Mohd Amin had acted on the incident promptly.

"(We) immediately held discussions with the UAE FA through its secretary-general and vice-president along with the AFC secretary-general," said Stuart.

"After the discussion, FAM received a formal letter from the UAE FA stating that they apologised for the incident and views it seriously.

"It also said that it will be conducting an internal investigation for actions to be taken against players and team officials involved.

"We will be submitting a report from the match commissioner and referee to AFC and will follow up with AFC if it needs anything else after AFC examines the reports from all parties."

Despite the incident, the result was positive for Malaysia U-23 coach Ong Kim Swee and his men.

It was their second straight win over an Arab nation following the group-stage win over Saudi Arabia in the AFC U-23 Championship in January. They were eliminated by South Korea in the quarter-finals.

Malaysia open their Asiad campaign against Kyrgyzstan in Indonesia on Wednesday. South Korea and Bahrain are also in Group E.

UAE are in Group C with China, Syria and Timor-Leste.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 12, 2018, with the headline 'AFC awaits FAM report on fighting'. Subscribe