Former national coach Dollah Salleh slammed referee Zamzaidi Katimin for his “poor refereeing” in Pahang’s 2-1 defeat to Felda United in a Super League match played at the Tun Abdul Razak Stadium in Jengka on Saturday – a defeat that could be costly for the Elephants in their bid to catch up with leaders and defending champions Johor Darul Takzim.

“I have not voiced out before but it has been happening once too often with Pahang matches. I speak out with the hope that the standard of refereeing can be improved for the good of football in the country,” said Dollah in a post-match interview after the match.

Pahang took a second minute lead through Mohamadou Sumareh before new signing Ifedayo Olesegun equalised for the Felda in the sixth minute. Then came the controversial penalty for hands in the 88th minute which was duly converted by Thiago Augusto .

“I cannot hold it anymore (poor refereeing) and what happened to us against Felda cannot be swallowed anymore. I am speaking up with the hope that something can be done to improve the standard of refereeing. If you have good referees officiating matches it will help improve the standard of football in the country,” said an angry Dollah.

“It was a clear ‘ball to the hand’ incident…not deliberate handball incident by our defender. Did the referee know what a ‘ball to hand’ incident is?”

Zamzaidi is not new to controversies although is a veteran in the Malaysian League.

Pahang’s defeat saw JDT pull away to a nine point lead at the top of the table. JDT lead with 33 points after 14 matches while Pahang and FA Cup champions Kedah, who lost 3-2 to Perak in Alor Setar, are on 24 points each in second and third place respectively, separated by goal difference. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH

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