KUALA LUMPUR – SEA Games football squad midfielder, Muhammad Nazmi Faiz Mansor who spat at a Timor Leste player in a first Group B tie last Saturday, should be sent back from the games, says chef-de-mission (CDM) Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria.
He said the move would serve as a lesson for other athletes to be more disciplined while representing the country at international tournaments.
“I think he should be sent back. I have said this to coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee to take the necessary steps, if he needs to be sent back, he has to do that.
“I have also communicated this to my deputy, Peter Chee, who is in charge of the integrity and discipline of the contingent to inform all team managers to advise the athletes, especially the young ones, to keep their composure and handle emotions to avoid embarrassing the team and country,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after the Malaysian Contingent sponsorship presentation at the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) here today.
The ‘Harimau Muda’s plan to win big against Timor Leste on their first Group B tie on Saturday was destroyed when the 20-year-old was sent off in the 31st minute for spitting at Filipe Oliveira.
Earlier, the media reported that Kim Swee was waiting for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) disciplinary committee’s decision on the matter before making further decision, while noting that he might also suggest to the team management to consider further punishment on Muhammad Nazmi.
Meanwhile, Mohamad Norza advised all national athletes to consult with National Sports Institute officers and the team coach before consuming any outside food.
OCM president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar said the national athletes were reminded by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to be disciplined.
“The reason why they need to watch their behavior is that there are 11 countries in the SEA Games…,” he said.
A total of 658 athletes and 206 officials will represent the country in the biennial event, from June 5 to 16, where Malaysia is taking part in 35 out of 36 sports.