PETALING JAYA: For Melaka goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (pic), the months of waiting for his wages from Kelantan have been excruciating.
It is already 2020, but his former club and boyhood team Kelantan have yet to settle his dues of nearly RM143,000 since 2016. In a recent meeting with the team, he said the management promised to look into fulfilling the payments in five months.
The national goalkeeper is willing to wait on his home team, from whom he played from 2009 to 2018, but wants it to be settled as soon as possible.
“I had a meeting on New Year’s day with the team management. They said they could not pay me in full, but would do it in instalments, ” said the 30-year-old, who helped Malaysia win the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2010.
“They told me to give them till May to settle my arrears. I have said to them that I need an official letter from them.
“The delay in salaries has been happening since 2016, and now it has got to this stage. I hope they will be able to settle things by this year.”
Khairul, fondly known as “Apek” to his fans, said this situation should not be happening in this professional era.
Last month, he revealed that he had spoken to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) over the arrears as he needed some action on the situation.
Khairul is not the only player to face this situation.
His former Kelantan teammate Badhri Radzi is owed almost RM180,000, while Perlis’ failure to pay their players’ salaries saw the team being booted out of the Malaysian League on Feb 20.
The league organisers found that the team have insufficient funds for the 2019 season.
“As a professional player, my only hope for 2020 is to not read stories like these, ” said Khairul. “What I am going through should not be faced by other players.
“It is never good for our football. At the end of the day, we want to do our best on the pitch. Our comfort and livelihood should not be at stake.
“The management is supposed to be diligent with administrative work to ensure we can give our best on the pitch. Players should not have to wait for their hard-earned money.”