SEA Games: 3 more footballers caught breaking curfew, FAS says they will join earlier 6 in facing the music

The Football Association of Singapore said that Shah Shahiran, Hami Syahin and Saifullah Akbar will face disciplinary measures along with the other six players.
PHOTO: TampinesRoversFC.com, Jonathan Choo, The Straits Times file

SINGAPORE - Three more Young Lions, all aged 20, were found to have broken curfew during their dismal SEA Games football campaign, taking the total number of players caught flouting the rule to nine out of the 20-man squad.

In a statement by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) last night, it announced: "In the matter of the six Singapore U-22 national team players found to have broken curfew during the 30th SEA Games, three more players were found to (have) committed the same offence after further thorough investigations by the FAS.

"Shah Shahiran, Hami Syahin and Saifullah Akbar will face disciplinary measures along with the other six players.

"The FAS would like to reiterate that such conduct by National Team players is wholly unacceptable and any player found guilty of such offences will be dealt with severely.

"As the matter is currently before the disciplinary committee, the FAS will not be making any further comments until it is appropriate to do so."

Last week, the FAS named Zharfan Rohaizad, Joshua Pereira and Lionel Tan (all 22), Kenji Rusydi and Zulqarnaen Suzliman (both 21), and overaged player Tajeli Salamat, 25, as the players who had broken curfew after The Straits Times broke the news of the breach on Dec 5.

Sources told ST the players were in their rooms when team officials made their rounds at the curfew time of 11pm on the night of Dec 1, after Singapore's 3-0 loss to Thailand.

But they allegedly left later to visit the casino at Solaire Resort and Casino, not far from the team's base at Century Park Hotel in Manila, returning only in the wee hours.

The Singapore National Olympic Council said on Dec 5 that the six "were given a stern formal warning and will face disciplinary hearings upon their return to Singapore after the SEA Games".

(Clockwise from top left) Zharfan Rohaizad, Joshua Pereira, Lionel Tan, Tajeli Salamat, Kenji Rusydi, Zulqarnaen Suzliman. PHOTOS: ST FILE, EPA-EFE, 2019SEAGAMES.COM, BERITA HARIAN, MARK CHEONG

FAS president Lim Kia Tong did not mince his words then, calling the players' actions "deplorable".

He added: "Their acts were calculated and done with the blatant disregard of the code of conduct. At that stage of the competition when they should have been fully focused on bringing pride back to the game for Singapore, their behaviour affected and dented the capability and morale of the team and they have let down the entire nation."

The Young Lions had a SEA Games to forget as they finished fourth in the six-team Group B with one win, one draw and three losses and failed to progress to the semi-finals for a third consecutive edition.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.