The former A-League's Central Coast Mariner midfielder, Adriano Pellegrino (centre) may not feature for Kedah due to a rules technicality. - courtesy www.footballaustralia.com.au
ALOR SETAR: Kedah may have to axe their star signing Adriano Pellegrino even before the Australian has made his competitive debut in Malaysian football.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) denied permission for the 29-year-old Australian playmaker to feature for the Premier League outfit over a technicality.
Pellegrino, who became an instant darling of the Kedah fans during pre-season friendlies, was not named in Kedah’s squad who beat Kuala Lumpur 4-0 in the FA Cup first round on Tuesday night.
The FAM made it clear in their rulebook that all foreign players must be signed from a top-level club playing in a national league.
Pellegrino had featured for the Central Coast Mariners senior team in the A-League last year.
But his decision to stay fit during the A-League off season by joining the Mariners’ academy team has seen him breach FAM’s rules.
The former A-League Player of the Year made 11 appearances for the Mariners’ academy side in the New South Wales state league immediately before joining Kedah in November.
“The Kedah FA are in communication with FAM over this matter and Adriano cannot play until we get the clearance from the national body. At this moment, I don’t know if Adriano will stay or leave,” said Kedah coach David Mitchell.
The Red Eagles open their Premier League campaign at home on Friday against neighbours Perlis, the team they will also meet in the FA Cup second round on Feb 4.