KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 (Bernama) -- World champions Zakri Ibrahim and Azlinda Ahmad are now out of the SEA Games national silat squad for good as their appeals were rejected by the Malaysian National Silat Federation (Pesaka) masters' council who met today.
Pesaka secretary-general Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din said the meeting chaired by Pesaka president Tan Sri Muhammad Muhamad Taib unaninously confirmed their disciplinary committee's decision to drop the duo from the national side.
"Both were dropped as they have been found to have sneaked out of training camp without any permission," he said when contacted.
Last April 24, Pesaka's disciplinary committee chaired by Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad decided to sack the duo for breach of discipline but gave them 21 days to appeal.
Megat Zulkarnain said as Pesaka's masters' council were the highest authority in deciding the issue, both silat exponents can no longer make any appeals for them to rejoin the national team.
He said whether the duo can still represent the nation after the September SEA Games depended on their respective silat associations.
"Pesaka will send a full report on this case to their respective silat bodies...the next action depends on these associations ,"he said.
Megat Zulkarnain said the council's decision showed that Pesaka would never compromise on disciplinary matters.
"Stern action like this is hoped to become a lesson to others and for it not to recur," he said.
Despite the views by certain quarters that the duo's abscence would weaken Malaysia's chances of winning gold medals in the SEA Games, he said Pesaka would not face difficulties in getting their replacements.
"We have several exponents from the back-up squad who are capable of replacing them," he said.
Megat Zulkarnain said Pesaka were still sticking to their target of winning eight of the 19 gold medals at stake in the SEA Games.
In Brunei two years ago, Malaysia won three golds, three silvers and four bronzes.
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