BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
It seems that Nurridzuan Abu Hassan was not the only Selangor player to have run afoul of sporting conduct in their round nine Super League clash against Perak last Friday.
A day after the 1-1 draw at the Shah Alam Stadium concluded, fan pages uploaded photos of veteran player and Red Giants skipper Amri Yahyah raising his middle finger towards towards an unseen target, at one point during the match.
The matter must have warranted the club board's attention, as the press on Monday morning was invited to a press conference by the club following the team training, with the media officer informing Goal that both Nurridzuan and Amri would be making their public apologies for the two incidents.
But as it turned out, only the winger talked to the press on Monday, while the press were told that Amri was not required by the club to respond to the incident.
The reason for the change in plan? Amri was not found to have flashed the obscene gesture towards the away fans, according to head coach B. Satiananthan.
"I've apologised for Nurri's behaviour the other day, he has been warned by the club, will make a public apology, and is likely to be sanctioned by the FAM (Malaysian FA). What he did towards the away fans was unacceptable.
"But Amri did no such thing, so he will not be making any apologies. He didn't show his middle finger towards the fans; it was towards [Perak midfielder] Leandro dos Santos during a heated moment in the match. He lost his cool. If you heard what he (Leandro) said towards Amri in Portuguese, you'd be outraged too. Don't forget, we have a Brazilian on our team as well (Sandro da Silva). Many have been demanding that Amri say sorry; to whom? To Leandro?
"Don't simply look at the photos [that have been shared on social media]. See who else was near Amri when he did it. The referee was there and he decided not to punish Amri; he only said 'go on' and 'pay no mind to it'. If he thought that Amri had committed an infringement, then surely he would have punished Amri for it!
"This is football, even Pele and Eric Cantona too have been involved in incidents like this. But the team management has spoken to the men, instructing them to control their emotions as fans will be fans," explained the former Malaysia head coach to the gathered reporters.
Commenting on their Tuesday match, against Felda United in the third round FA Cup at home, the former Felda boss said that his men will not underestimate the Fighters, joking that several of his former players will be using the encounter to prove themselves, in order to attract a mid-season transfer offer from the Red Giants.
"Felda are not an easy team. They are still strong, they play according to their individual players' strengths, and their defensive record is good.
"Wage issues or not, they're going to put it aside for a while and maybe prove to me that they want to join Selangor in the coming transfer window," he noted.
Satiananthan will be without centre back Taylor Regan who was injured in the Perak encounter, as well as Rufino Segovia, Endrick dos Santos and Wan Zack Haikal, who have been sidelined due to long-term injuries. But winger Syazwan Zainon, who missed the match on Friday due to injury, will be available on Tuesday.
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