Kedah MB: State funds cannot be used to pay footballers

Playing on: A Kedah player (left) in action against Pahang during a Super League match. Kedah players and officials have yet to be paid their salary for five months.

ALOR SETAR: The Kedah state government cannot arbitrarily channel funds or allocations to the Kedah Football Association (KFA) to settle the players’ salaries which have been pending for five months.

Mentri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said although certain quarters had suggested for the state government to assist the KFA, its main priority was to help the people of the state.

“Some have suggested to just take money from anywhere to solve this problem, but I will not do that. That is money for the needy, and I am firm in my stand.

“I know, fans are concerned about the welfare of the players but this issue has been around for a long time.

“At that time, no one spoke about it, but now when I have taken over as the KFA president, everyone is complaining and hitting out at me, ” he said in a press conference after launching Menara Alor Setar’s new tourism product – ‘Star View’, here yesterday.

Muhammad Sanusi was appointed as the president during the association’s extraordinary general meeting on July 12, replacing former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir.

According to Muhammad Sanusi, KFA’s arrears issue did not only involve players’ salaries, but the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and team transport ticket providers.

Muhammad Sanusi claimed that the problem had begun under the previous management, and that the current debt stood at RM10.6mil.

“Why make player contracts with salaries of up to RM120,000? All this was done without considering the association’s financial capabilities.

“The mistakes were done previously, but the fans remained silent, and do the fans now want me to take the money meant for the poor, orphans and single mothers to be given to the players?” he said.

Muhammad Sanusi said, however, KFA would be holding a meeting on Aug 3 to find a solution, as well as to re-evaluate the implementation of several matters under the previous management.

“If I need to do an overhaul or make salary deductions, I will do it. If the true capability (of KFA) is to pay a salary of RM20,000, we will pay only that, and whoever is willing to play for the state with the salary, please hold on.

“If anyone thinks they should get a higher salary, KFA will allow them to look for a better destination.” — Bernama

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