Football: Balestier United players handed lengthy bans for NFL fracas

A Disciplinary Committee has banned Balestier from participating in the FA Cup for the next two years and given them a $1,000 fine.
A Disciplinary Committee has banned Balestier from participating in the FA Cup for the next two years and given them a $1,000 fine.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR STRAITS TIMES
A brawl broke out during a Football Association Cup first-round match between Balestier United Recreation Club (in grey and white stripes) and Safsa (in green) at the Gombak Stadium.
A brawl broke out during a Football Association Cup first-round match between Balestier United Recreation Club (in grey and white stripes) and Safsa (in green) at the Gombak Stadium. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - The players who were involved in a mass brawl at a Singapore FA Cup match between Balestier United Recreation Club and Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (Safsa) on Oct 1 learned their fates at a Disciplinary Committee (DC) hearing on Thursday (Oct 27).

After two hearings, Balestier are banned from participating in the FA Cup for the next two years and fined $1,000.

Three of its players, Taufik Jiahuddin, Masnashzreen Masturi and Khyruddin Khalid, are banned from taking part in all Football Association of Singapore-sanctioned matches and tournaments until Dec 31, 2017. Each of them were also fined $500.

Two other players, Kamarul Rusly and K. Sathiaraj, are banned from all matches until June 30, 2017.

The ban takes effect immediately.

But the DC also noted that Safsa captain Syafiq Siraj provoked the incident.

 

The DC chairman, K. Balachandra, who led a five-person team to investigate the incident over two rounds of hearings, said Syafiq "was found guilty of committing provocative acts resulting in the brawl."

The 23-year-old was given "a conditional warning until Dec 31, 2017 to behave himself". This means that in the event he commits any act of misconduct during the period, he will be called up for disciplinary action which will take into account this incident.

His team-mate, Fuad Ramli, was acquitted.

On Oct 1, the Singapore FA Cup first-round match at the Gombak Stadium was halted by the referee in the 88th minute when a fight broke out with Safsa leading 2-1. The match was later abandoned.

This occurred after each side had a player dismissed. Safsa's Fuad was sent-off for kicking an opponent while Balestier's Masnashzreen was red-carded for retaliating.

A heated argument ensued between the Balestier players and Syafiq, who did not play and was watching from the sidelines, followed and the latter was then chased into the stands.

He later uploaded a video of the incident on Facebook. In the post - which was later removed - Syafiq claimed that he and his mother were beaten.

The Balestier players dismissed that claim.

Masnashzreen, 27, a fire safety officer, said: "We did not hit his mother nor hit him. He accused us falsely and has damaged our reputation. We just hope that he would apologise to us."

Taufik, 28, a food delivery rider, added: "I admit that both sides were at fault. But the punishments are so different and I feel that it's too heavy for us."

In response, Syafiq insisted that he is just a victim of the brawl, saying: "I denied the charge. I was just a spectator and there was no instigation."

His mother also stood by Syafiq's claim that she was attacked in the brawl.