PETALING JAYA: It is going to be a joyous Hari Raya Aidilfitri for Kedah players as their football association are set to receive RM1.5mil to settle the team’s salary arrears.
The players have not received their salaries since February but four days ago (May 14) the Kedah Football Association (KFA) paid RM500,000 to settle the arrears. On the same day, RM1.5mil was approved by the state government which will be used to settle other issues and arrears.
KFA secretary-general Asmirul Anuar Aris said Kedah’s former Mentri Besar and current KFA president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir had approved the RM1.5mil to be allocated and the new Kedah government will be tasked to distribute the funds to the team.
The Red Eagles’ senior player Khairul Helmi Johari is glad that the situation over the arrears will be settled.
“I heard about the announcement. I’m optimistic and positive that the management will find a solution to solve the issue and continue to be attentive to the players’ welfare, ” said Khairul, who has been playing for Kedah since 2007.
“As a senior player and based on my experience with Kedah, the management have always taken care of us. We need to understand the current situation faced by them at the moment.”
Kedah started their 2020 season early with some great performances in the AFC Champions League playoffs in January but had trouble rediscovering their touch when the Super League started on Feb 28.
After four matches, they record a win, a draw and two defeats to collect four points and occupy seventh spot in the 12-team table.
The Malaysian Football League (MFL) have proposed that the Super League, disrupted sinced March 16 by the Covid-19 outbreak, resume on Sept 1 with only one round (seven matches) to decide the final Super League standings of 2020.
The 32-year-old centreback said it has been a challenge to train at home for a long period.
“To stay mentally sharp we need to be committed in the training despite it being done at home. Obviously the situation is different but we have to make the most from what we have, ” he added.
“I don’t think only Kedah will be having problems when the season resumes as the other teams are also in the same situation. I foresee teams who recover quickly from the suspension will have the advantage when play resumes.”