Southeast Asia Malaysia

JDT-Levski Friendly Ends in Farce

A friendly match between Malaysian titans Johor Darul Ta’zim and Bulgarian giants Levski Sofia on Saturday ended in farce, with the game being called off in the 54th minute following physical altercations between players.

Reigning Liga Super Malaysia champions JDT are currently undergoing a pre-season training camp in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where the Southern Tigers tested their might against a number of European teams such as Russian sides FC Rostov, Lokomotiv Moscow, and Zenit Saint-Petersburg, as well as Bulgarian side Levski.

Having lost their first friendly 2-0 to Rostov, JDT took on Levski in their second friendly match of their camp at the Jebel Ali Football Center on Saturday.

The Southern Tigers were unfettered against a side who had once represented Bulgaria in the UEFA Champions League group stages, nicking a 1-0 lead thanks to new signing Juan Muniz.

Chaos began to broke out in the 54th minute, after JDT’s Fernando Forestieri landed a blow on Levski’s Filip Krastev. Almost immediately Forestieri was swarmed by Levski players, one of whom managing to punch the former Sheffield Wednesday player.

JDT’s Indonesia international defender Jordi Amat tried his best in pulling Forestieri out of the chaos, as things spiraled out of control with players from both sides going up against each other.

Shortly afterwards the Levski players and officials left the pitch and never returned, forcing the referee to call off the match.

With the match now scrapped, JDT took to social media to blame both Levski and the referee for the chaos that had happened during the match.

“Match abandoned at 54th minute due to opposition lack of sportsmanship, excessive aggression and failure of Serbian referee in controlling the match,” wrote JDT in their social media posts regarding the match.

JDT owner Tunku Ismail Idris also pointed the finger of blame at a number of Levski players who he accused of conducting unsportsmanlike behavior throughout the match.

“There were no yellow cards for every tackle from the opposition,” said Ismail in a comment written underneath JDT’s post regarding the game’s abandonment, “The Serbian referee had lost control of the game. He didn’t give any booking when Levski’s number 30 spat on and stamped on Leandro (Velazquez). From there the game went out of control. Perhaps they couldn’t accept that an Asian team is leading 1-0 over their European counterparts.”

In their own social media post, Levski accused the JDT players for unsportsmanlike conduct that led to the abandonment of the game.

“Because of unsportsmanlike and violent conduct from the opposition, the match had to be stopped in the 54th minute,” wrote Levski in their social media posts.