Don’t allow Sato to judge the match between Malaysia and Vietnam


PETALING JAYA: Ryuji Sato should be excluded from refereeing any match involving Vietnam and Malaysia including when the two teams play against other teams.

It is to avoid another controversial decision like the one made by the referee from Japan who awarded an inappropriate and dubious penalty to Vietnam in their 3-0 victory over Malaysia in the AFF Cup yesterday.

Such an action was not once done by Sato because in the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup qualifiers, June last year when he awarded a penalty to Vietnam with 10 minutes left in the game before the final whistle was blown.

The result caused Malaysia to lose 1-2, thereby dashing the hopes of Harimau Malaya to advance to the next round in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers when they finished fourth in Group G.

Former national referee and International Football Federation (FIFA), Subkhiddin Mohd. Salleh said that Sato’s experience cannot be disputed, but there are things that need to be improved.

An early INCIDENT where Doan Van Hau pushed Azam Azmi Murad before both fell outside the field.

“I didn’t fully watch Malaysia’s action against Vietnam yesterday, so it’s not fair for me to comment on Sato’s performance as a whole, I can only talk a little about the result.

“In terms of experience, Sato does have experience at the international level, including refereeing World Cup qualifiers, being involved in the 2018 Russia World Cup, Olympic qualifiers and so on.

“Going back to yesterday’s match, there are some things that need to be improved. For example, a controversial issue involves the awarding of undue penalties to Vietnam.

“As an experienced referee, when two players move on the goal line at high speed, it can cause injury if there is a collision with the billboard, at that time he should stop the match if there is a collision.

SUBKHIDDIN MOHD. Saleh

“If he stops the match, Sato will focus more on the safety of both players and can control the situation wisely. His act of giving an ‘advantage’ is also unfair because Malaysia is on the defensive.

“Sato also cannot simply accept what the assistant referee informs to control the situation and he needs to make sure that it is correct or there is no foul play outside the field clearly,” he told Utusan Malaysia.

Asked if the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) should protest against the referee’s decision, Subkhiddin said Malaysia should ‘move on’ and accept the decision.

AZAM Azmi was seen just trying to get up after falling after being pushed by a Vietnamese player.

“If there is a protest even once, we can do it individually gentlemen letter by admitting defeat and at the same time, asking the organizers to be more careful,” he said.

“I think it is better to ‘move on’ to avoid stressing our players and disturbing them and thinking of losing because of the referee. We have to plant in their mentality to rise up,” he said.

Sato when refereeing yesterday’s match made some absurd decisions that caused Malaysia to lose 0-3 in the third match of group A of the AFF Cup at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi, Vietnam.

The referee awarded a controversial penalty kick which caused Kim Pan Gon’s squad to fall behind 0-2 in the 64th minute.

This is due to the possibility of Azam Azmi Murad kicking a Vietnamese player in the face, when he was outside the field causing Sato to show a red card to the national defense and award a penalty kick to the home team.





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