Major shake-up in Malacca

MALACCA: In a drastic move to stop the plunge in their soccer fortunes, Premier I's Malacca have rested coach Mohd Shah Norbit and accepted the resignation of Iranian trainer Bahman Foroutan. 

The Malacca FA (Mafa) president, Datuk Ibrahim Durum, said that assistant coaches Muzaffar Shah and Yong Wai Hong would take charge of the team. 

“The Mafa Council meeting yesterday accepted the resignation of Iranian trainer Bahman Foroutan, due to personal reasons, with effect from today,” said Ibrahim yesterday. 

The move came in the wake of Malacca's humiliating 0-6 defeat by Kedah at the Hang Tuah Stadium here last Saturday and the 0-5 hammering by Selangor at Shah Alam a week earlier. 

Ibrahim, who is also a state executive councillor, said that the team had been given two games to buck up or face a drastic measures from the FA. 

He said all of the players were given showcause letters and they were told that unless they brought their game several notches higher, they would face the boot. 

Ibrahim added that the FA would not hesitate to sack any player who failed to perform up to expectations even though they had to pay him three months of salary as compensation. 

“I'm also putting myself on the line too. Like the rest in my management team and the players, if thing do not pick up by the time we play Sarawak (on March 22) I will also step down,” he said. 

On the possibility that the problem could have arose due to conflicts with the team's management, Ibrahim said that the FA had ensured that the well-being of their players was taken care of. 

“We have never delayed payment of salaries since early this year and we have promised them a bonus for every match won and this was paid out after the 1-0 win over Penang. We have also increased the players' salaries by a minimum of RM500 (a month),” he said. 

Ibrahim said that defeat was part and parcel of the game but the way Malacca performed against Kedah and Selangor was simply shocking. 

On how long Mohd Shah would be rested, Ibrahim said that it was up to the FA's Council. 

He also said that the FA would not hesitate to lodge police reports if they found evidences on match-fixing. – Bernama 

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