GEORGE TOWN: Chilean Nelson San Martin has lost patience with the Kedah Football Association (KFA), saying he has yet to receive his bonuses for winning the 2008 Malaysia Cup.
The 35-year-old midfielder helped Kedah to achieve a rare double treble – Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup – in 2007 and 2008.
But he claims the KFA have not paid him the bonuses for winning the 2008 Malaysia Cup.
“I received my rewards for the 2007 season and the Super League and FA Cup-winning bonuses for 2008.
“The squad was promised around RM20,000 cash and land if we won the Malaysia Cup in 2008. But I have not received anything.
“I didn’t want to go to the media as I love Kedah. But I have no choice because I need the money for my family. I have not played the past one year because of injury,” said Martin, who called for a press conference at his residence in Tanjung Bungah, Penang.
“I talked to my team-mates (from the 2008 squad) and they got the cash bonuses. I did not receive my bonus because I left for Chile to see my family two days after the Malaysia Cup final. My mother passed away during that season, but I stayed back to help Kedah finish as champions. I rushed home after the Malaysia Cup final. Before I left, they (team officials) told me ‘Don’t worry, Nelson. We will send your bonus to Chile.’ It has been seven years, and nobody called me.”
Martin was told not to return to Kedah following the Football Association of Malaysia’s decision to ban foreigners from the M-League in 2009.
When the ban was lifted, Martin came back to rejoin Kedah in 2013. But he left the following season to join T-Team of Terengganu.
“I spoke with (then Kedah) manager Datuk Othman Aziz. He told me there is nothing in the contract regarding the bonus payments for winning the Malaysia Cup, and that he will look into the matter.
“He also told me that the land reward was only for the local players. I am fine with it. If it’s difficult to give the land, they can compensate me with the value of the land. The three foreign players in the 2007-08 squad played important roles to win the six titles for Kedah. I worked hard for Kedah, and I’m only asking for what was promised to me.”
Besides Martin, the other two foreigners in the squad were St Vincent and Grenadines duo Cornelius Hugging and Marlon James.
A KFA official, who did not want to be named, said it was the PAS-led Kedah state government which promised the land bonus for winning the 2008 Malaysia Cup.
“KFA did not promise to give land to the players, it was the state government at the time which did it. None of the 2008 squad received any land so far. The KFA are working with the current (Barisan Nasional) state government to deliver the promise. As far as I know, the land reward was only meant for the local players, and not the imports.
“I don’t know about Nelson’s unpaid cash bonuses as I was not involved with KFA when the payments were done,” said the official.
KFA secretary Aminuddin Omar could not be reached for comment.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is the KFA president. He only took over the helm in 2013.