* Nazmi pays a heavy price for gross indiscipline and respect
He asked for it and the Asian Football Confederation rightly slapped a six-match ban on Malaysia’s talented footballer Nazmi Faiz Mansor for spitting on Timor Leste’s Filipe Oliveira.
The lengthy ban did not come as a surprise although some parties may still question the six-match suspension which effectively shut the door on Nazmi’s participation in the SEA Games.
Gross indiscipline cannot be tolerated and his poor sportsmanship has tarnished Malaysia’s image in the Games which will be officially launched in Singapore on Friday although the football competition got underway on May 29.
His contribution to Malaysia was only 32 minutes in Malaysia’s 1-0 win over Timor Leste at the Bishan Stadium in their opening Group B match. Malaysia’s goal came in the 11th minute but after Nazmi’s sacking it was a struggle for the Malaysians.
Saarvindran scored the only goal of the match to garner three points.
Nazmi was given the marching orders by Singapore referee Foo Chuan Hui who missed the “spitting incident” but was informed by fourth official Yousef Almarzouq. Chuan Hui gave Nazmi a direct red card which means an automatic two-match suspension.
It was the first red card in the 28th edition of the Games where Malaysia are bidding to regain the football gold they won in Laos (2009) and Indonesia (2011) but could only finish fourth in the 27th edition in Nay Pyi Taw , Myanmar (2013).
The disgraceful and disrespectful act by Nazmi not only left head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee furious but also drew criticism from cef-de-mission Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria who said: “Nazmi should be sent home as the offence is serious and has tarnished Malaysia’s image.”
Malaysia will take on Vietnam at the Bishan Stadium tonight.