REPORT ON INCIDENT AT ALBIREX NIIGATA VS TAMPINES ROVERS , RHB SINGAPORE CUP QUARTER-FINALS ( 2 Jul 12 )
Here is an account of the events that transpired during Singapore Cup match between Albirex and Tampines at the Jurong East Stadium.
1.TRFC’s No.4 Fahrudin Mustafic was named in the starting eleven when the teamsheet was handed over by TRFC to the MC Andrew Lim, about 85 minutes before kick-off.
2.When both teams finished their pre-match warm-up and were back in their changing rooms to prepare for marching out, TRFC team manager Zulkarnaen Zainal approached MC Andrew Lim and said that the club would like withdraw Mustafic (due to injury during warmup) from the starting eleven and replace him with one of the named subs, No.3 Jufri Taha.
3.The MC acknowledged this and also informed the referees. Mustafic was withdrawn from the teamsheet, and Jufri was indicated as a starting eleven player. The match has yet to kick off. The quota of substitute players for TRFC was then reduced from 7 to 6 because of the change, in accordance with regulations (Section B, Article 10.1 and 10.2) which states:
10. Player Selection List
10.1The Team Manager or his assistant acting as the Team Manager of each Club, through the Player Selection List, must indicate the eleven (11) players who will start the match and the players who will be substitute players (maximum of seven (7) players) on the team substitutes’ bench, taking part in each S.League Match, to the Match Commissioner at least eighty-five (85) minutes before the advertised time of kick-off. The list shall indicate the full names of Players and/or such other details (e.g.Team Captain) as required by the Competitions Division.
10.2 Once the Player Selection List is submitted to the Match Commissioner and becomes an official document (signed by both teams and the Match Commissioner), and if the match has not yet kicked-off, the following instructions apply:
(a) If any of the eleven (11) players listed on the Player Selection List selected to start the match are not able to start the match for any reason, they may be replaced by any of the named substitutes. Such replacements will reduce the quota of substitute players accordingly. The player being replaced cannot be renamed as a substitute. During the match, three (3) substitutions may still be made by the team.
(b) If any of the substitutes named on the Player Selection List is not able to be fielded for any reason, they may not be replaced, which means that the quota of substitute players will be reduced accordingly.
4.However, the MC in his haste to ensure that the match gets underway on time, failed to inform ANFC immediately. He only realised and managed to verbally inform ANFC (team manager Koh Mui Tee) about 1 minute or so after kick off, and then went down to the Fourth Official’s table together with Mui Tee to re-confirm this fact with the Fourth Official, W.Ravisanthiran. This has been verified and confirmed by the Fourth Official. The MC was only able to get the amended teamsheet out during half-time.
5.The MC has apologised for his oversight and the inconvenience caused.
Key Considerations and Conclusion
1.There was no infringement of the rules on the part of TRFC. They did not field a suspended or unregistered player.
2.There was no intention whatsoever from TRFC to mislead or cheat. They had every right to make a change before kick-off, informed the MC as required and made the changes in accordance with regulations.
3.The MC failed to inform ANFC immediately of the change, when he should have. The MC, who has more than 10 years of football competitions’ experience and is also an AFF Match Commissioner/General Coordinator, has apologised for the slip.
4.The failure of the MC to immediately inform ANFC of the change did not influence the outcome of the match. Hypothetically speaking, even if the MC had informed ANFC immediately, it was only going to be a formality and the match would still have went ahead as ANFC has no right to oppose the hange by TRFC which is legal and in accordance with the regulations.
5.There will be no action taken against TRFC and the match result will stand. The MC has been counselled and at the same time all other MCs and Competition Staff has been briefed of this incident as a lesson learnt.