Malaysian FA apologise over Benayoun abuse

The Malaysian Football Association have apologised to Chelsea following the Blues’ complaint over anti-semitic abuse directed at Yossi Benayoun.

But the Malaysian FA also sought to play down the booing of the Israeli midfielder, who was barracked by the crowd every time he touched ball during a recent pre-season friendly in Kuala Lumpur.

A statement issued by the governing body read: “From our initial observations, if such an incident took place, it would have involved a small section of spectators at the match and this surely does not reflect the feelings of the majority of fans in this football-loving country.

“The FA of Malaysia would like to strongly register that we do not condone any form of racism in football.

“If such an incident did happen, we would like to apologise to the player concerned, and also to Chelsea FC.”

Chelsea initially dismissed suggestions that the booing of their player – one of the few Israelis to have played in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country that does not recognise Israel – was anti-semitic.

But after reviewing the match, they decided to lodge a complaint.