Lion City Sailors' Kim, Tampines' Mustafic guilty of violent conduct
The two coaches at the centre of a headbutt row in a recent Singapore Premier League (SPL) match have been found guilty of violent conduct. Their sentence, however, will be delivered only next Wednesday.
After a hearing that lasted nearly three hours at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday (Aug 4), the Football Association of Singapore's disciplinary committee (DC) upheld its charges against Lion City Sailors head coach Kim Do-hoon and Tampines Rovers assistant coach Mustafic Fahrudin.
The pair had clashed at the end of their teams' SPL match on July 24, with Kim headbutting Mustafic near the end of the game. Mustafic then confronted the South Korean after the game, and was pictured with his hands around his neck.
Both clubs were also found guilty of an additional charge for the conduct of their respective players, who were engaged in a shoving match as a fracas broke out following the incidents between the two coaches.
A fifth charge - for the Sailors over the conduct of their fans - was dropped.
DC chairman K. Bala Chandran told The Straits Times: "We acquitted them of that charge... as it was not proven, based on the facts."
He added: "We have asked (both clubs) to get back to us... as to any mitigation or representation they may want to make before the DC decides (on the sentence).
"The DC will deliver the decision by Wednesday."
When ST arrived at the Jalan Besar Stadium at about 6.40pm, Mustafic, accompanied by Stags chairman Desmond Ong and head coach Gavin Lee, were already inside the stadium. They were in a holding room, waiting for proceedings to begin.
Kim appeared shortly after 7pm. Sailors' sporting director Badri Ghent was among those who represented the club at the hearing which was originally scheduled for last Thursday, but the FAS announced an adjournment mere hours before it was due to take place.
This was after the DC agreed to the Sailors' request for more time to "investigate the facts before... presenting their case".
This drew Ong's ire, and he said his club were surprised by the decision and "shocked" by the way it was communicated to them - they received a formal notification more than four hours after a media statement was sent out by FAS - and sought an "urgent explanation".
In previous cases of violent conduct involving local coaches and players, the FAS had meted out various punishments including fines as high as $10,000 and suspensions ranging from several matches to as long as 15 months.
The DC consists of an independent panel of members which oversee all disciplinary cases presented before it. Its findings, resolutions and penalties for cases are made without without any involvement by the FAS council or its secretariat.