No end in sight to FAM and Sarawak wrangle

PETALING JAYA: The wrangle between the FA of Malaysia (FAM) and the Sarawak FA continued yesterday with the governing body claiming they were right in docking three points from the state team and the state FA saying they are being punished for somebody else's mistakes. 

The angry Crocs believe the FAM were biased in deciding that Sarawak had fielded an ineligible player in Burkina Faso striker Romeo Kambou against Penang in Kuching on Dec 27. 

The FAM had sent a letter to the FA of Sarawak (FAS) – received on Dec 30, three days after the match – saying that the new foreign players were suspended until Sarawak resolved issues involving foreign players in the previous season. 

The FAM claimed that Sarawak had not resolved the payment of salaries and other perks for Slovakian Ivan Ziga, Portuguese Alfredo Lopes and South African Junaid Hartley.  

However, the FAS have come out with “proof” that they do not owe any money to the three players. 

“The mistake lies with the FAM. We fielded Romeo only after getting him registered. We demand that the three points be reinstated to us,” said Sarawak team administrator Abdillah Mail from Kuching yesterday. 

“Sarawak were never at fault. Why should we be punished for someone else’s mistake?” he asked. 

FAS executive secretary Abang Zulkarnain Abang Abdurahman, meanwhile, said Sarawak would seek an audience with FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah to sort things out. 

FAM secretary-general Datuk Ibrahim Saad, meanwhile, said yesterday that the Sarawak FA had been given the opportunity to appear before the competitions committee to explain their side but they chose not to. 

Ibrahim said the rules had been made and explained to all their affiliates at a briefing, which the Sarawak FA officials did not attend. 

“The FAM are embarrassed. We had five cases reported to FIFA last year. All were about teams' non-compliance of payments to foreign players.  

“This is why we want all state FAs and clubs to clear their problems from the previous season,” he said. 

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