Xenia Sports – Cairo
Togolese Bennel Malaba, the striker of the Emirati club, Ittihad Kalba, revealed the fact that he intentionally hurt the referee, Ahmed Khalfan, during the Khorfakkan match in the East Coast Derby, within the ninth round of Arabian Gulf League, which was held yesterday.
Referee Ahmed Khalfan fell to the ground, the effect of strong friction with Bennil Malaba, in the East Coast Derby, during the Kalba Federation meeting with Khorfakkan, which ended in Kalba’s favor with a 2-1 victory.
Malaba confirmed that the friction between him and the referee was normal, while he was on his way to the ball, stressing that he apologized directly to the referee after the incident, and the latter accepted the apology with open arms.
The Togolese striker explained that the incident is natural and unintended, indicating that the spectator of the match was not present in the stadium and it is difficult to estimate this moment in addition to the absence of any problem between him and the referee in order to harm him.
While Bennel Malaba expressed his happiness with the level of Al Ittihad Kalba this season and ranked fourth in the Arab Gulf League, stressing that there are three difficult confrontations awaiting his team in front of Al Wahda, Al Ain, and Sharjah because they are the best and strongest teams in the league, and thus will be the most difficult for his team from the beginning of the season.
He indicated that the Kalba players want to present distinguished results during the coming period, explaining that the first round of the competition is still very early, indicating that he asked his colleagues to play with full force, in order to occupy an advanced position.
Malaba described facing Al-Wahda, next Friday, in the tenth round, as difficult, as Al-Wehda is a large team and includes strong and experienced elements, stressing at the same time that their chances are great to win a point at least or a full mark if they played in the same spirit of previous matches.
Regarding the few goals he scored in the current season, 4 out of 8 rounds, he said: “He is satisfied with what I have provided so far. Last season was different and I scored 11 goals, and I seek to visit all opponents’ goals, and I expect it is not difficult as long as there are more than 16 matches on the ground.”.