PETALING JAYA - The match officials got the decision spot-on!
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) clarified that referee Mohd Amirul Izwan Yaacob was "100 per cent" correct in disallowing Terengganu's Ahmad Nordin Alias' goal in the hotly-disputed FA Cup semi-final second-leg match against Lions XII at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak on Saturday.
All hell broke loose after referee Amirul disallowed the last-minute goal which denied the east coast side of a place in the final.
The Turtles won the tie 3-2, but it was the Lions who advanced on the away goals rule with the score tied 4-4 on aggregate. FIFA referees' instructor C. Ravichandran pointed out that the offside incident was a "rare case" similar to the 2010 World Cup opening match between South Africa and Mexico.
"The referee was 100 per cent correct and so was assistant referee Azman Ismail. It's a clear-cut case with enough evidence to prove that the Terengganu player (Ahmad Nordin) was in an offside position," said Ravichandran in a press conference at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya.
He said if Ahmad Nordin had no contact with ball and was not involved in the play, then the goal would have stood.
Goh Ah Chai, the chairman of the referees' committee, said to avoid any confusion the concerned parties should refer to their head of the referees' department before making any statements.
"The match officials are strictly following the laws of the game," he said.