The referee for the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals match between Singapore and Indonesia has been heavily criticised by spectators for his poor refereeing.
Qasim Matar Ali Al-Hatmi, who is from Oman, made controversial decisions during the match, which he officiated with other match officials.
These decisions included:
Red card for Safuwan Baharudin
Lions defender Safuwan Baharudin was given a yellow card in the 36th minute, despite what appeared to be a clean tackle on Indonesia's Witan Sulaeman.
On the verge of half time, as Singapore was preparing for a set piece, Safuwan was given his second yellow and was sent off after a scuffle inside the penalty box.
No penalty for Singapore
At the 40-minute mark, Singapore forward Amy Recha appeared to have been fouled by Indonesia's Rachmat Irianto in the penalty box.
Rachmat's feet did not touch the ball as he lunged into the tackle. He clipped Amy's left foot instead.
However, the referee did not award Singapore a penalty.
Red card for Lions defender Irfan Fandi
In the 67th minute, Irfan Fandi received a straight red card after a challenge on Indonesia's Irfan Jaya.
Irfan's left hand had made contact with the Indonesia player's face, forcing the latter to the ground.
While a foul may be justified, many fans felt that a red card was too harsh for the Lions' defender.
Allowing an offside goal for Indonesia
In the 87th minute, Indonesia's Pratama Arhan scored an equaliser for his team, although he was marginally offside.
The linesman did not raise his flag and the referee allowed the goal.
In the AFF Suzuki Cup, there is no video assistant referee (VAR).
Singapore fans were not happy
Qasim, together with the other match officials, were whistled and booed by Singapore fans at the National Stadium throughout the game.
Things got heated online too, as Singapore fans questioned Qasim's capability and impartiality as a referee.
Pretty sure this game is rigged between Indonesia vs Singapore, not tryna be salty or what but really what referee is this?— Weisong Ji (@WeisongJi) December 25, 2021
how much was the referee payed by Indonesia?— ΔMIR (@arrmeer) December 25, 2021
The referee today: pic.twitter.com/1SNFLfoX2H— ⓘ 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞🇸🇬 (@sgnotoriousafc) December 25, 2021
Indonesia must have bribe the referee— qayyumsies (@Lutfiqvyyum) December 25, 2021
Let’s give it up for Indonesia’s man of the match the referee— アブリシャム (@jastbueno) December 25, 2021
Fans also flocked to the Football Association Singapore's Instagram posts to criticise the referee.
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