KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu has expressed regret over an incident where a team official chased after the referee during a men’s football semi-final match at the Malaysia Games (Sukma) last night.

He said although it was normal for situations to be tense during football matches, such unsporting behaviour should not have occurred, especially at Sukma which aims to unearth young talents.

“Obviously we have fans who do not agree with every decision made by the referee... However, this incident has occurred, we (have to) learn from our mistakes and move forward. I hope such incidents do not ever recur,” he told a media conference after attending the soft launch of the Kuala Lumpur Sports Industry Expo (EISKL) 2022 here today.

He was asked to comment on the action of an official from the Federal Territories team who, after being shown the red card for confronting the referee, chased after the match official.

However, police managed to bring the situation under control.

In the game, which was played at the UiTM Stadium in Shah Alam, Penang won 1-0 through a penalty converted by skipper Mohd Danial Irfan Mohd Nadzri in the 40th minute and the Islanders will take on three-time champions Terengganu in the final after the east coast team edged Selangor 2-1 in the other semi-final.

Ahmad Faizal said that although this year’s Sukma had several unsavoury incidents, including doping cases, he felt that the overall organisation of the Games had been carried out well.

“The doping issue has plagued the Games in the past few editions, but I feel that our efforts to ensure our athletes are ready to compete paid off. I am, however, disappointed that some events had to be dropped (due to lack of participants),” he explained.

Meanwhile, he said the Youth and Sports Ministry is targeting the growth rate of sports industry companies to reach 30 per cent in the next 10 years.

He said that a report by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) recorded the Malaysian sports industry’s value in 2017 to be RM18.8 billion involving 36,511 employees, adding that he believes it is rising.

The EISKL 2020 will be held at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil from Oct 6-8. — Bernama