JDT owner Tunku Ismail Idris blasts media for writing like rival team’s fan


Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) owner Tuku Ismail Idris has hit out at a news outlet for insinuating that the Malaysia Super League “get preferential treatment by referees in regards to penalties.”

Johor had narrowly defeated Melaka United 2-1 in the domestic league last week with Gonzalo Cabrera giving the Southern Tigers the lead in the 35th minute from the penalty spot.

Malaysia national team star Safawi Rasid made it 2-0 for the home team, but Melaka got a lifeline when Philippines star Patrick Reichelt scored in the 74th minute to reduce the deficit. However, JDT held on to take all three points.

However, the champion club’s owner wasn’t happy with the reporting around the match. “Journalists should write based on facts, not emotions. They have to be fair and treat teams equally, not write like a fan of a rival team. Unfortunately, this is not the case for some in Malaysia,” he said in a club statement.

“I read a Berita Harian article [on Monday] that irresponsibly insinuates that JDT get preferential treatment by referees in regards to penalties. I cannot understand how such an article was written and published,” the Crown Prince of Johor said.

“I cannot help but think that there is an agenda behind writing such a story, which basically creates something out of nothing. Does the writer not understand football to be unable to differentiate between right and wrong decisions by match officials?,” he asked in the statement.

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“I admitted that one of the penalties against Terengganu was perhaps a soft one, but those that understand football regulations will concur that there is little doubt in the other penalties given to JDT.”

“How is it ‘dihadiahkan’ (gifted) a penalty when a team is fouled against? The word ‘bantuan’ (help) was also carelessly used in the article. It is obvious that the article was written with an agenda to incite readers against JDT,” he said.

“Please practice fair reporting instead of being irresponsible and biased,” the JDT owner appealed.

JDT are second in the Malaysia Super League table level on 10 points with table toppers Kedah FA after four rounds of matches.