Police, FAS probe attack on referee

Witnesses revealed that the card was shown to a Gymkhana player at about the 80th minute of the game with referee Lim Si Seng receiving a blow to his neck after a crowd had formed around him.
Witnesses revealed that the card was shown to a Gymkhana player at about the 80th minute of the game with referee Lim Si Seng receiving a blow to his neck after a crowd had formed around him.PHOTO: ST FILE

Gymkhana sacks player although NFL club is expelled from league for unrelated offences

A referee was allegedly hit in the face after he showed a red card to a player in a National Football League (NFL) Division One fixture between Gymkhana FC and Katong FC at Yishun Stadium on Sunday evening.

Witnesses revealed that the card was shown to a Gymkhana player at about the 80th minute of the game, with the referee, 37-year-old Lim Si Seng, receiving a blow to his neck after a crowd had formed around him.

The match was allowed to continue after fourth official Taufik Thana replaced Lim, who sat on the sidelines for the remainder of the fixture.

The game ended with Katong running out 3-0 winners, police called to the scene, and Lim taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

The police are looking into the case that has been classified as voluntarily causing hurt, which is a non-arrestable offence in Singapore.

Gymkhana president Patrick Francis told The Straits Times that the club concluded its investigations yesterday afternoon, and has already taken action against the player.

"The player involved was Jufri Hassan and, after he was sent off, he dropped his jersey in the changing room and left the stadium before the police arrived," said Francis. "Our committee met earlier this afternoon, and we have decided to sack him, and impose a life ban - he will never play for the club again.

  • Past mischiefs

  • SEPT 12:

    During a National Football League Division Two fixture at the Jalan Besar Stadium, a Kembangan United player allegedly throws a punch at an opponent from Admiralty Community Sports Club. The matter has yet to be heard by the Football Association of Singapore's disciplinary committee.

  • NOV 12, 2017:

    A brawl breaks out at an NFL Division One match between Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association and Yishun Sentek Mariners, which is captured on video.

    NFL champions Yishun are subsequently fined $5,000 and start the defence of their title with a five-point deduction. Eight of their players are hit with fines between $300 and $1,000 and suspensions from four to 15 months.

    Two players receive the harshest punishment of a 15-month suspension and a $1,000 fine.

    One Safsa player is let off with a stern warning, while two others are suspended for four months and fined $300 each.

  • DEC 4, 2014:

    In a PSA Football League game, a player from PSA's Container Logistics Department stamps on the referee's thigh and punches him after receiving a red card.

    He is jailed for 10 months and ordered to pay $2,000 in compensation to referee Mohd Asadullah, who required reconstructive surgery on his nose.

"He was a former professional player, and he should know what kind of behaviour is expected."

"These things cannot happen in Singapore football, and we will accept whatever punishment the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) metes out," added Francis, who revealed that he had given the authorities Jufri's contact number to assist in investigations.

This is not the first time that an alleged assault on a referee by a player has hit the headlines.

In a PSA Football League game at the PSA Club's Telok Blangah Road facilities on Dec 4, 2014, a player of PSA's Container Logistics Department stamped on the referee's thigh and punched him after receiving a red card. The player was jailed for 10 months after pleading guilty to one count of voluntarily causing grievous hurt.

The court also ordered him to pay $2,000 in compensation to referee Mohd Asadullah, who required reconstructive surgery on his nose.

When asked for its response to the latest incident, the FAS' general secretary Yazeen Buhari declined to go into details because the matter is under police investigation.

However, he said: "The FAS takes a very serious view of any behaviour that taints the sport, and brings it into disrepute.

"The FAS will take strong action against the perpetrators, and protect our match officials from any form of abuse, let alone assault.

"We have offered support to the referee following the Sunday incident, and the disciplinary process is under way."

In a strange twist, the FAS sent out a circular to NFL clubs last night, announcing that Gymkhana has been expelled from the NFL for unrelated offences, even though it has one league game left.

The club had infringed Article 39.2 of the NFL regulations. This states that a club that fails to field a minimum of 11 players at kick-off on three occasions will be expelled from the league and banned from further participation in the competition unless there are extenuating circumstances.

The club will also see its financial privileges - NFL clubs received $8,500 in subsidies from the FAS this year - withdrawn.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2018, with the headline 'Police, FAS probe attack on referee'. Print Edition | Subscribe