Thursday, March 06, 2003
Turtles hoping for leniency from the FAMBY RIZAL ABDULLAH
OUT FOR THE COUNT: Goalkeeper Mohd Syamsuri Mustaffa is definitely out of Terengganu's match against Sabah this weekend while Seidu Issifu (below) is doubtful.
JOHOR BARU: Crippled Terengganu have sent an SOS to the FA of Malaysia (FAM) asking for a postponement of their Premier I league match against Sabah, which is scheduled for Saturday at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu.
This is because five of their key players have been called up for national training. They also have two other players nursing injuries.
The five in national training are goalkeeper Mohd Syamsuri Mustaffa, rightback Zairo Anuar Zailani, and midfielders Marzuki Yusof, Mohd Norhisham Hassan and Tengku Alias Tengku Ibrahim.
Ghanaian midfielder Seidu Issifu and striker Mohd Shahrulnizam Rani are carrying injuries and the Turtles have difficulty coming up with a decent team for the trip to Kota Kinabalu.
Terengganu FA president Datuk Che Mat Jusoh said from Kuala Terengganu yesterday: “We have sent a letter to the FAM appealing for a postponement. But we have yet to get a reply.
“I hope the FAM will consider our predicament. We have lost half the team because of national training.
“We are proud to have five players in the national team. But we are crippled for the match against Sabah. We need our best team to play against a team like Sabah and we hope the FAM will grant us our request.”
Terengganu have yet to register a win after two matches while Sabah are unbeaten in three matches.
Terengganu coach Tajuddin Noor said: “We have been hit in every position. The five called up for national training are all regulars and you can understand our position.
“I expect Issifu to be fit for the match and if we have to go to Sabah with a crippled team, I can only expect the players to put up a fighting display ... but this alone is unlikely to win the match for us against an experienced team like Sabah.”
Terengganu were beaten by Perlis (0-4) in Kangar in their opening match and in their next match at home, lost 0-1 to Pahang. Sabah drew 3-3 with Sarawak, beat Kelantan 2-1 and drew 0-0 with Perlis.