BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After he was inexplicably handed a one-match suspension by the Malaysian FA (FAM) following Pahang's quarter-final second leg FA Cup encounter against Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), the Elephants' Mohamadou Sumareh has expressed his bewilderment at the punishment he has received, claiming he was innocent.
Just minutes after he scored the winning goal against the Southern Tigers in the match, a particularly physical challenge by him on JDT midfielder Afiq Fazail resulted in the youngster lashing out at him by kicking him in the chest. An altercation ensued between both sets of players, but video clips of the incident show that the Gambian was not involved in any scuffles, as he was lying on the pitch seemingly hurt by Afiq's retaliation.
On Tuesday, FAM's Disciplinary Committee bizzarrely punished both players with one-match suspensions, and Soumareh is set to miss his team's first leg semi-final FA Cup match against Negeri Sembilan this Sunday.
He told Utusan that he is innocent in the incident.
"If the coach is surprised, of course I am even more surprised. Please tell me what I did wrong. It was obvious I did not assault anyone, it does not make any sense.
"I'm utterly unhappy with the decision because I've been punished for something that I did not do. Please explain this to me," pleaded the 25-year old player.
Pahang boss Dollah Salleh also shared Sumareh's bewilderment.
"When found out about this, I was shocked. I still do not understand why Sumareh was given the suspension as the video (recording) clearly shows that Sumareh did not attack anybody, instead he's the one who was beaten," said Dollah.