PETALING JAYA: The FA of Malaysia (FAM) have granted Terengganu’s appeal for a postponement of their Premier I match against Sabah, which was scheduled for tomorrow at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu.
Terengganu, who have lost their first two matches in the 13-team league, asked for the postponement because they have a depleted side with the absence of five key players, who are in national training at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya.
The FAM competitions committee chairman, Datuk Redzuan Tan Sri Sheikh Ahmad, said yesterday that the match would be played on April 1.
“It is only fair that we come to a compromise to postpone the match,” said Sheikh Ahmad.
“We are grateful to the state FAs for sending their players without fail for national duties and in times like this, as in the case of Terengganu, we should be reasonable enough to make some allowances.”
Goalkeeper Mohamed Syamsuri Mustaffa, rightback Zairo Anuar Zailani and midfielder Mohamed Marzuki Yusof are with the national Under-22 squad, who are in their first phase of training for the pre-Olympics. The team, who checked into camp on Monday, will play a friendly against Maldives today.
Two other Terengganu players – Mohamed Norhisham Hassan and Tengku Alias Tengku Ibrahim – are with the national Under-21 squad preparing for the Malaysian International Youth Tournament.
They have been in centralised training since last month for a four-nation international featuring the Under-20 teams of Brazil, Portugal and South Korea. The tournament will be played at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on March 13 and 16.
Meanwhile, Terengganu FA president Datuk Che Mat Jusoh said that he was grateful to his Sabah counterpart, Datuk Anifah Aman, for agreeing to the postponement of the match.
Che Mat added that he made a telephone call to the Sabah FA president, who is in Melbourne, and informed him about Terengganu's predicament.
“I thank him for understanding our situation. He showed great sportsmanship and agreed that for a Premier I match a team should have a decent line-up to contest it,” said Che Mat, who is also the Terengganu manager.
Besides the five players on national duty, the Turtles also have another two players on the crock list – Ghanaian midfielder Seidu Issifu and striker Mohd Shahrulnizam Rani.