Malaysian goalkeeper vows to clear name
Axed goalkeeper Ahmad Sharbinee Allawee says he will clear his name and vehemently rejects allegations he deliberately scored an own-goal against his Terengganu team in their Malaysian Cup match against Kedah on Saturday.
The former Malaysian national goalkeeper was instantly hauled off the pitch by English manager Peter Butler after he appeared to fumble a corner into his own net, allowing Kedah the equaliser in the 1-1 draw.
A furious Butler shoved the goalkeeper in the back as he left the pitch, delivering a stinging verdict afterwards: "We don't need such players. We only want those who put in an honest effort. I can safely say that he won't feature in the team anymore."
But Sharbinee says he welcomes an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission as he has nothing to hide.
"Let the MACC investigate me. I want to clear my name," he told Malaysia's The Star newspaper. "I have never sold a match and it saddens me that people have labelled me as corrupt.
"It pains me to show my face in public whenever I bungle in a match but it hurts even more now when people accuse me of being corrupt."
Sharbinee, who hurled a water bottle at Butler in a spat as he left the pitch, said he had snapped at the humiliation he felt.
"I have always accepted criticism, especially from the coach, but it was always in the dressing room," he said.
"I admit I lost my temper as he also hurled curses at me, I couldn't contain my anger and retaliated by throwing the water bottle," he said.
Sharbinee said he would move on if his services were not needed, but that he wanted to clear up the matter first.
"I love playing for Terengganu and don't want to leave on a sour note," he said. "I'm still a Terengganu player and I want to settle this issue first. I will await the decision of Terengganu FA president Datuk Che Mat Jusoh before making my next move."
Che Mat said the club's management will meet on Wednesday to attempt to resolve the issue.
Butler, a midfielder for West Ham and West Bromwich Albion during his playing days in England, has launched a one-man campaign to weed out indiscipline and corruption from Malaysian football.
Last week he kicked out two senior players - Muslim Ahmad and Ismail Faruqi - for allegedly breaking a curfew. The two vehemently deny the allegations and have demanded an apology.
The coach seemed in no mood to weaken his stance when quizzed about his actions.
"Sharbinee sealed his own fate when he palmed the ball into his own net in the home match against Kedah ... and as long as I am the team coach, he will not be standing between the posts again," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying.
"But I am happy to note that most players and Terengganu fans ... are behind me during this difficult period."