Now, the players’ patience is wearing thin and some have taken to social media to air their displeasure.
Learning from the Black Lives Matter campaign, the players even took a knee during a training session on Friday, putting up all five fingers to indicate that they have not been paid for five months.
Kedah have reportedly only paid a portion of the players’ wages for nearly five months due to a lack of funding as their revenue has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new Kedah state government has also frozen the RM1.5mil allocation given by former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir to settle the salary arrears.
The new Mentri Besar, Mohd Sanusi Md Nor, who is also the new KFA president, said he would not use government money to settle the arrears as the administration’s main priority was to help the people of the state.
“Some have suggested that we take money from elsewhere to solve this problem, but I will not do that. That is money for the needy, and I am firm in my stand,” he said at an event in Alor Setar on Sunday.
“I know, fans are concerned about the welfare of the players, but this issue has been around for a long time.”
The players, meanwhile, have had enough, and even coach Aidil Sharin has hinted his displeasure over the salary issue.
He posted a cryptic message on his Instagram story, with the caption: “People don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses.”
Their Liberian striker Kpah Sherman was the first to go public on the matter, when he posted on Instagram: “Very very difficult times. No one should be allowed to go through this. Give 100% and get nothing! How many more months?”
It is reliably learnt that one of the players has asked his agent to report the matter to FIFA.
This seems to be a never-ending problem in Malaysian football. Almost every season, there is some wage-related issue.
From Kelantan to Melaka, these teams have been hit by financial issues, which have only affected the livelihood of players and coaches.
Before the season started, Police were deducted three points by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for their failure to pay salaries to players and officials last season, while Melaka were also docked three points by the body in March for failing to settle their players’ salary.
In the Kedah camp, no official complaint has been submitted to the FAM as the Kedah players had been hoping the new KFA leadership could solve the problem amicably.
However, with the latest statement from Sanusi, it looks like the players have had enough. It would not be a surprise to see Kedah being in the headlines for the wrong reasons in the coming weeks.
They are now seventh in the 12-team league with four points after four matches.
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