Silat referee banned from sport for 10 years

Indonesia's Dian Kristanto (right) won the Class A Pencak Silat finals against Thailand's Anothai Choopeng despite his antics(Photo: Antara)Indonesia's Dian Kristanto (right) won the Class A Pencak Silat finals against Thailand's Anothai Choopeng despite …

For his "unsatisfactory performance" at last November's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Singaporean silat referee Jasni Salam was on Wednesday handed a 10-year ban from the sport.

In a statement sent to Yahoo! Singapore, the Singapore Silat Federation (Persisi) said that Jasni's domestic licence has been revoked and the 52-year-old will be barred from entering any venue where silat events are held.

The strongly-worded statement also took Jasni to task for bringing Persisi into disrepute through his "inadequate, sub-standard and/or unsatisfactory performance" at the Games.

The referee of more than 20 years experience drew widespread outrage while officiating the men's Class A 45-50kg gold-medal match between Indonesia's Dian Kristanto and his Thai opponent, Anothai Choopeng.

The Indonesian was declared the winner by Jasni, even after he had indulged in antics such as dodging his opponent, biting him on the shoulder and hiding behind the referee after that. A video of the match garnered more than 400,000 views when it was uploaded onto YouTube.

Watch video here:

In the aftermath of the incident, the Jakarta Post also reported that local spectators reacted to the incident by throwing plastic bottles into the ring.

The ban took effect from 7th February.

In a phone interview, Persisi secretary-general Isiah Majid said the duration of the ban is recommended by its five-man disciplinary committee and described it as "justified".

"This is the first time Persisi has taken any official to task for disciplinary breaches. The management wanted this to be a lesson to everyone involved in silat that you cannot take your responsibility lightly just because you are a volunteer," Isiah explained.

She also revealed that the hotel housekeeper was not present at the disciplinary hearing on 27th January despite being informed.

Jasni again failed to turn up at the adjourned hearing on 7th February, but this time, the committee proceeded with the session based on evidence given by him in a previous interview.

Persisi has also informed the International Pencak Silat Federation in Jakarta of its decision and has requested for the body to strip Jasni of his international refereeing credentials as well.

When Yahoo! Singapore spoke to Jasni at Changi Airport after he returned from Jakarta, he would only say that he had "tried my very best to be a referee there. That's all".

A report in The Straits Times on Thursday stated that Jasni had declined comment as he did not want to "blow the matter up".

Silat referee Jasni Salam has been given a 10-year ban (Yahoo! Photo/Alvin Ho)Silat referee Jasni Salam has been given a 10-year ban (Yahoo! Photo/Alvin Ho)