Monday, July 8, 2013

Sukma scandal: Khairy upset by report of coach consuming alcohol with players and rape occur

Athletes alone are not to be blamed.

Yesterday, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin also took coaches and sports officials from the handball team to task for allo­wing alcohol to be consumed in the Malaysia Games Village at University Putra Malaysia during the just-concluded Sukma, which was rocked by an alleged rape.

A disappointed Khairy said he had received fresh reports on the incident yesterday, which revealed that a coach had joined the handball team in their boozing session.

“The case of the alleged rape is being investigated by the police. On our side, we have asked the relevant parties to submit a report. We want to know why it happened and what were the security measures taken,” said Khairy.

“I found out that alcohol had been consumed inside the Games Village and I am really saddened and shocked to find out that a coach had been party to it.

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“The team managers and coaches are people responsible for the conduct of their athletes ... I cannot tolerate it when they too show indiscipline.

“I have requested for the coach and officials involved to be suspended until further investigation is carried out by the state and national handball associations,” he said.

On Sunday, it was reported that police arrested three players from the Federal Territory handball team for allegedly gang-raping a 19-year-old girl after she lodged a report.

It is learnt that the girl had gone out for drinks with the boys, aged between 18 and 19, prior to the incident.

Khairy said the Sukma scandal was an isolated case and it should not reflect an overall picture of a discipline crisis among national athletes.

“There were thousands of athletes who came and competed in an honourable way at Sukma but unfortunately, a few of them had marred the image (of the Games),” he said.

Earlier, Khairy said he had been told that the coach and the players had been drinking at a court for at least an hour before security personnel came.

“This is a failure of the security protocol and I have asked Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong (National Sports Council secretary-general) to look into the protocol,” he said.

In Petaling Jaya, it was announced that a hearing tribunal and an investigation committee would be set up by the Federal Territories Sports Council (FTSC).

FTSC director Mohd Hamidi Abu Bakar said: “This is the first time that such an incident has happened and we want the investigations to start soon.”

He added that FTSC would work closely with the National Sports Council.

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