Felda believe they will be back – going by their backers

PETALING JAYA: Felda United have not given up hope of playing on in the M-League.

On Saturday, Felda and UKM were expelled from the M-League by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) after both teams’ management were deemed financially wanting to operate as football teams next season.

Felda’s former secretary-general and the Fighters Sdn Bhd representative Afizal Abu Othman confirmed that they have appealed against the FAM’s decision.

“We have sent an appeal to FAM requesting to be given 14 working days to submit documents on our funding. We are confident of tying up with corporate companies who have strong finance backings to run a competitive team in the M-League,” said Afizal.

“We can bring our financial backers to meet FAM and provide all the necessary documentation ... let us have a three-way meeting together to prove our financial situation for the 2021 season.

“We never had any financial issue this season. Since we are relegated to the Premier League, our budget will be smaller and we can manage it better too. I think it will be a loss to just close down the team after all these years.”

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Football League (MFL) will have to crack their head over the M-League composition next season.

Six other teams – Melaka, Pahang, Penang, Kuching, Kelantan and Sarawak United – who were given conditional licences by FAM’s First Instance Body (FIB) last month to compete in the M-League are still not out of the woods.

The six were ordered to provide documents from the Inland Revenue Board, Employees’ Provident Fund and Social Security Organisation over arrears payments and could be booted out or demoted to the lower division in the M-League if their documentations fail to fulfil the requirements.

Earlier in August, the MFL have scrapped relegation from the Premier League this season as the third division – the M3 League, has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, there are 10 teams in the Premier League – Kelantan, Kuching, Kelantan United, Sarawak United, Negri Sembilan, Police (who were relegated from the Super League this season) and four development sides – Terengganu II, Johor Darul Ta’zim II, Perak II and Selangor II.

MFL chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Ghani Hassan said there would be an update on the teams for the Premier League after the next board of directors meeting.

“We will have to update the 2021 Premier League teams because at the moment there only 10 teams including four development teams. We will have a board meeting to find the best solution,” said Abdul Ghani.

“The MFL have excluded Felda and UKM following FAM’s assessment of their financial standings. We don’t want the teams to face financial problems which might result in unpaid wages to the players and team officials.”

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Felda United , M-League , football , MFL


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