Federation suspends Khemara Keila midfielder after his assault on a referee following a controversial penalty, saying he brought the game ‘into disrepute’
Photo by: Nick Sells (www.nicksellsphotography.com)
Khemara Keila players surround referee Sang Sopheak (left) after he awarded a penalty to Wat Phnom for Ek Vannak’s challenge on Sun Meng Hout (right, on ground) during their match last Wednesday. Moments later, Sophal Oudom (centre, blue number 14) attacked the referee.
THE Disciplinary Committee of the Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) Monday found Khemara Keila midfielder Sophal Oudom guilty of gross misconduct on the pitch during the Metfone C-League match against Wat Phnom last Wednesday, slapping a six-month suspension on him.
Sophal Oudom was seen to physically attack referee Sang Sopheak following a penalty decision awarded to Wat Phnom for a foul on Sun Meng Hout by Ek Vannak in the Khemara box. As Khemara players crowded round the referee in protest, Oudom, who was not involved in the goalmouth fracas, vented his anger by pouncing on the official and taking a wild swipe. A visibly shaken Sang Sopheak flashed an immediate red card to the midfielder and reportedly lodged a complaint after the game with the FFC.
“The committee recorded statements from all those involved including the referee and the match officials and also sifted through video footage of the incident before reaching this decision”, Ouk Setheycheat, FFC general secretary, stated Monday. He added that it has strictly followed FIFA guidelines on the code of conduct on players.
“[Sophal] Oudom has been suspended for bringing the game into disrepute. This punishment should act as a deterrent for others,” he said. “The player has a right to appeal, and if he chooses to then the appeals committee will consider it.”
In light of this incident, the FFC is calling on all participating clubs and players to refrain from acts of indiscipline on the pitch and pursue what it calls positive football.
Meanwhile Khemara coach Solomon Demagudu, though conceding that the punishment was not harsh, declared that Sophal Oudom had acted in a fit of rage born out of frustration. The Nigerian born tactician called the whole episode “rather unfortunate” and observed that simmering discontent among his players over some dubious decisions on the field that day had affected their spirit.
However, Demagudu is adamant that this latest setback will not affect team morale. “We will put this behind us and we will fight on,” he affirmed. “I had a frank and candid discussion with the players, and told them in no uncertain terms that we must play disciplined football no matter what the situation is.”