Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Poor Refereeing, Bad Sportsmanship Dominates Game; Not Football

Etoile FC suffered a first defeat in the S-League in 2011 when a highly contentious indirect free kick from Ruhaizad Ismail sealed all 3 points for 10 men Gombak United - who showed poor sportsmanship throughout the game on and off the pitch, getting 9 yellow cards (including a 2nd yellow for Hamqammal Shah) in the process. The quest for a first win at Jurong West Stadium, as well as a first goal, remains for the Stars but the manner that they lose the game meant that the result was perhaps unfair to the Stars - who were at the wrong end of some atrocious refereeing from a "F-Grade" Johan Johari.

Game play
Gombak United started the game with a plan - to possibly injured any Etoile players on the pitch, and the tackles came in fast and furious, with moves meant for the Ring being demonstrated on the field. However, with both teams battling out in midfield for the upper hand, Ridhuan Jamaludin and Park Kang Jin found the defence in scantilating form. The first half ended in a stalemate and the second half started like the first. After half-chances for both teams, Hamqammal Shah then found himself in the referee's book for a second time for diving.

Bad boy Ruhaizad Ismail, who sees his bad reputation plaguing his playing time since his time at Balestier Khalsa, then stamped on an Etoile player after a tussle at the ball. The winger was given only a yellow card when a red seemed to be more appopriate. And when Johari decided to give a free kick to Gombak with mintues left on the clock, the referee had signalled for an indirect one. Ruhaizad shot the ball direct into goal, the ref blowed for a goal and there were mumurs that the goal maybe should not had stood. However, it seemed that the referee appeared to have spotted the ball touching the gloves of Antonin Trilles en route to goal and awarded it as a legitimate one. Gombak held on to the lead BUT THE GAME WAS NOT ABOUT FOOTBALL BUT ABOUT THE FALLENCY OF THE LEAGUE.

Should the game had even started in the first place?
Fans at the Jurong West Stadium would had felt that they were seeing things when 5 people wearing identical pink jerseys and black shorts with black socks walked out of the tunnel. Etoile FC goalkeeper Antonin Trilles was wearing the same attire as the referee and in any good football game, either the goalkeeper changes his jersey colours, or the game gets abandoned. Nothing was done.

Poor Officiating Throughout the Game
Johan Johari was the perfect example of what we call poor refereeing. The tall referee got many calls wrong, showing yellow cards when he seemingly looked to have lost control of the situation and not flashing the red card when he deemed a yellow card to be more than enough. Johari, who ended his first officiating duties with cramps after 82 minutes in a S-League game featuring Young Lions and Balestier Khalsa, was not able to spot fouls that were intent in injuring the Etoile FC players. He was also slow to react to his lineman's call - sometimes taking up to a minute - and then stop play to go back to a foul committed way early on. In addition, Johari allowed for the Gombak United custodian to take his own sweet time to take goal kicks - sometimes as long as 45 seconds - without seeing the need to issue the goalie with a verbal warning. He also allowed handling of the ball to the tune of more than 6 seconds in the penalty box by the goalie. His decisions definitely were definitely biased and is arguably one of the worst refereeing that the Singapore Football fraternity had seen for a while.

Editor's note: Johan Johari should have his performance for tonight's game reviewed and possibly be issued with either a warning or suspension - just like how K.Kalimuthu was made to serve a suspension after some dubious refereeing between Albirex Niigata (S) FC and (guess who?) Gombak United.

Sportsmanship Lacking in Gombak United - ON and OFF the pitch
What do you do when you score after scoring a goal? For Ruhaizad Ismail, it means running to the opponent's bench, slide in front of the manager and then try to agitate him. This caused chaos among the players and bench, with the referee seeing no need to issue Ruhaizad with a yellow card.

In addition, it came to the attention of this website that Darren Stewart used the "F" word on Etoile FC's forward Serge Souchon. This incident happened after Ruhaizad scored the freekick and admist the shoving, the Australian apparently felt a need to express his feeling with a word that Leo Melissa sensationalized in the Oscars just a day ago. It then came upon us that apart from Serge, the Australian also used nasty words (involving family members) on Coach Arena. Is this what Darren Stewart is all about? Is this also the philosophy that he is passing on to Gombak United and the values and principals that he is building the club on?

The Etoile Ultras numbered 7 today, and yet, the Gombak United fans felt the need to threaten the Ultras, provoking them and pointing vulgarities sign at the Ultras. One of them in the group, a chinese fat guy, used to be an Etoile FC supporter waving the France flag with glee and pride just a season ago. In the end, it needed a security guard to escort the 7 people from Etoile Ultras out of the stadium, who had at all times, refrained from provoking or staring at the 'WWE wannabes'. Also spotted among the 'trouble makers' was this short, mustached and plumb guy known by many simply by the name of Salleh, who had garnered this famous ability, or inability rather, to engage the crowd with proper language. Trying to agitate the Ultras, his bid failed miserably when his provocations were met with bemusement by the Etoile Ultras.
Editor's notes: Why are the Ultras told that "once you (Ultras) leave the stadium, anything that happen is not our problem"? by Syed Karim, a security personnel on duty at the Jurong West Stadium? He was also one of the first to drive off in his Honda Stream after the game. What are the selection criteria for security people for S-League games? Are the security in it for the money (all of $20 + free game entry) or because they feel that they can do a good job?

Post-Game After Thoughts
The loss to Gombak United and the treatment that were dished out to the Stars would benefit the players tremendously in the long run. Though a defeat after only the 3rd league game, it would help the players grow from this defeat, and perhaps start an unbeaten run to eclipse that of the Class of 2010. The team would also learn how to deal with teams that plays 'dirty', and gives them a crush course on the 'dirty side' of football.

"Though the team lost, they lost with pride and sportsmanship. Kudos to Arena and Serge for not reacting to Darren Stewart's childish act of using expletives to express his feelings to them. At least, the duo showed Darren Stewart what a real man is: One who do not sucuumb to vulgarities when he realised that he cannot win them with oral communication. The Gombak United supporters also showed why the Fair Play Award will never be in the cabinet of Jurong West Stadium with a convincing display tonight" - editor of etoilefcfans.blogspot.com


  1. So U hve a glory hunter in yr grp as well, in the past at least. It expected as they go to who winning

    But no worry, Etoile FC can come back, (& that guy may return :P) looked back to last year, u also had a slow start & people were then claiming u were set to finish in mid-table if nt bottom half

  2. Well editor, you must be an Etoile fan, dats why you don't know how to report the truth about what happened....Well written, but sad to say you got a long way to go in putting up a good report of an S-League game.

  3. Hi Datukay, if you realised, this is an Etoile blog, by the fan, for the fan. So if I am writing a S-League report, it would not be etoilefcfans.blogspot.com....


  4. In addition, the things reported here are true, and is a clear reflection of what the Ultras experienced on this fateful day. We do not spin yards, we write what really happened, and Ultras will testify to being challenged to a fight by some fans, while at least one player would agree that he was shouted with some expletives by the Gombak United coach.

  5. You fail to mention the bad sportsmanship by the 'ultras' using the air horn whenever the goal keep or other player went to kick the ball,
    you failled to mention bad sportsmanship from number 23 on etiole throughout the game.
    Most fights occured from Etiole.

  6. Most fights occured from Etoile? Are you sure? Air horn and drum.. which is fifa approved?