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Tuesday August 8, 2006

Troubled MPPJ face uphill task to stay in Malaysia Cup hunt

PETALING JAYA: Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MPPJ), still reeling from their financial problems and the walkout by Argentine striker Juan Manuel Arostegui over unpaid salary, face an uphill task when they entertain Malacca Telekom in the return leg of the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals at the MPPJ Stadium in Kelana Jaya this Saturday. 

To make matters worse, MPPJ lost the first-leg tie 0-3. 

Morale among the players is at an all-time low, with some players claiming that the local players have not been paid for two months and the foreigners for the last three months. 

MPPJ were once considered one of the best club sides in the country, especially after winning the 2003 Malaysia Cup and the Premier League title the following year. 

With a budget of RM14mil this season, the club were destined for better things. But now, everything is falling apart. 

Besides Arostegui not getting his salary, the Perlis FA are also seeking RM60,000 in unpaid transfer fees for two of their former players. 

MPPJ have also gone through three coaches thus far. They started out with German coach Michael Feichtenbeiner before replacing him with Brazilian Toni Netto. 

Now, Khan Hung Meng has taken over from Netto. 

A quarter-final exit from the Malaysia Cup will all but seal MPPJ’s wretched season.