Sabah FC apologises for acts of hooliganism at Likas Stadium

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Football Club has apologized to Johor Darul Ta’zim Football Club (JDT) fans for the acts of hooliganism by its own fans following a match on Friday (July 15).

The Sabah FC page issued a statement on its Facebook page extending their apologies to JDT fans on Sunday (July 17).

“Sabah FC would like to extend our apologies to the JDT fans who travelled to the Likas Stadium for this game and hope you remain well and have a safe journey back home,” it said.

The Sabah FC said while emotions will always run high during any competitive football match, there must be restraint shown from all quarters to ensure the safety of fans, players and officials.

It said that there were actions off the field which the Sabah FC would not and cannot condone.

“Whatever happens on the field cannot be used as justification for unruly acts like throwing water bottles towards the playing area or technical area by the side of the pitch,” said Sabah FC.

“As such, we hope that such incidents will not happen again in the future matches and hope that instead those emotions can be channelled towards supporting the team,” it added.

Earlier, the statement had started off with the football club thanking all those who bought tickets to watch the match.

“We at Sabah FC from the management to the players are incredibly humbled by the capacity crowd that attended the 2022 Malaysia Super League match against Johor Darul Takzim FC at Likas Stadium on July 15,” it said.

It said that the atmosphere created by the fans was incredible from the first minute to the final whistle.

“Every single one of the players took plenty of encouragement and motivation from your support,” it said.

“We will continue to work and train hard to ensure that you will always get to see us give 100% as was shown in the game against JDT and strive to continue to make you proud of the team,” it added.

In the match which saw Sabah losing 1-2 to JDT, fans had apparently started throwing bottles while some started fighting off field and tearing down a Johor flag from the fence at the end of the game.

It is learnt that the incidents started due to dissatisfaction over an allegedly biased and unfair referee who awarded an injury time free kick to JDT after he allegedly roughed up a Sabah player, resulting in its victory.

Players on the field had started getting agitated and angry after the free kick, which led to supporters letting their emotions get the better of them.