MELAKA: The two teenagers involved and their parents have accepted an apology from a Melaka volleyball coach over a slapping incident just after a tournament in Kota Tinggi, Johor, says the state youth, sports and non-governmental organisations committee chairman.

VP Shanmugam said the primary school teacher had apologised to the two teenagers immediately after the tournament ended on Dec 16.

“He has been coaching the students since they were in primary level and he is accepted as a fatherly figure by these young athletes until today,” he said when contacted.

Shanmugam said the parents also did not have any intention of pursuing the matter after the coach cleared the air on what had transpired. He said it became an issue after the clip of the incident went viral on social media.

“The teenagers have high respect for him – he is a very dedicated coach and has been training the Under-14 team since they were young girls.

“He may have slapped the two girls probably due to disappointment with the drop in their performance, although his action is unacceptable,” he said.

Shanmugam also said a report on the incident has been submitted to the National Sports Council while the Youth and Sports Ministry would get a report as well today.

He said the Melaka Sports Council will make a decision tomorrow on the fate of the coach although the Malaysia Volleyball Association (Mava) has suspended the coach from all national volleyball activities until the investigation is completed.

Shanmugam said the coach was appointed to lead the team during the Under-14 Junior Volleyball Championship by the Melaka Volleyball Association.

“Representatives from the National Sports Council, the ministry, the organiser of the tournament, as well as the two teenagers and the coach will be called up for a meeting on Wednesday to find an amicable solution.

“We will evaluate if there is a need to take a similar action as the one by Mava or find ways to resolve the matter amicably,” he added.

On Monday, the Youth and Sports Ministry said an independent investigation into the case will be carried out with the Education Ministry.