Mon12222014

Last updateSun, 21 Dec 2014 7am

News

FAS to probe Woodlands' racial abuse allegation

Woodlands Wellington have lodged a complaint with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) with regard to the racial abuse their defender Fabien Lewis allegedly suffered in the match against Balestier Khalsa last Sunday.

Lewis, a 30-year-old defender from Trinidad and Tobago, claimed that he was allegedly called a "black n*****" by Balestier forward Zulkiffli Hassim in the dying minutes of Balestier's 2-0 win at the Toa Payoh Stadium.

Referee K Kalimuthu showed Zulkiffli a straight red card for the alleged offence.

The New Paper understands that Lewis was allegedly called a "f******* black s***" instead of a "black n******".

Woodlands' team manager Matthew Tay told The New Paper yesterday that a complaint was lodged with the FAS on Monday evening.

He said: "We wrote to the FAS about the incident based on what we know. I understand that the investigation will take some time. We'll just wait and see."

According to Lewis, he had urged a Balestier player to get up and stop play-acting after one of his tackles.

There are suggestions that Lewis also used vulgar language while asking the Balestier player to get up.

At this point, Lewis claimed that Zulkiffli allegedly hurled a racist remark at him.

Zulkiffli was seen smiling and applauding the 1,913 crowd as he walked off the pitch after he was given his marching orders.

When contacted yesterday, Balestier vice-chairman S Thavaneson declined to comment on the incident.

When TNP spoke to Balestier's head coach Darren Stewart after the match, he said that he was unaware of the incident.

Said Stewart: "I had no idea what happened. I thought that Zulkiffi was sent off for a scuffle. I'll leave it to the authorities to sort it out."

Tay added: "Personally, I feel that the use of such language is inappropriate. But these things do happen in football.

"You can even see it in the big leagues."

Last December, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was slapped with an eight-game ban by England's Football Association for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

In a separate case, Chelsea defender John Terry is currently awaiting trial over allegations that he racially abused Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.

An FAS spokesman said yesterday that it will investigate Sunday's incident, following the submission of the match commissioner's and referee's reports.

Conduct

He said: "We expect our players and officials to conduct themselves with the highest integrity.

"They have to respect one another despite the competitive nature of the game.

"There is no place for racial abuse in our league. Such acts will not be condoned. Players or officials found guilty will be severely dealt with."

The FAS spokesman added that all clubs have been informed that the FAS has a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of racial abuse, both on and off the pitch.

After a meeting of club chairmen yesterday, TNP has learnt that the FAS has asked all clubs to brief their players on the matter and the proper way to behave.

Players could also be asked to sign a document agreeing to adhere to the policy against racial abuse.