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Penniless Perlis football players

SEVERAL players from Perlis have sold their personal possessions and are now doing odd jobs following the state’s failure to settle their wages for five months last season.



President of Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM), Hairuddin Omar (left), and PFAM chief executive officer Izham Ismail during the press conference. Pix by Muhammad Asyraf Sawal

The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM), representing 12 members of last season’s Perlis Premier League team, filed several complaints with the Perlis FA (PFA) and the FA of Malaysia (FAM), both parties have not responded.

Captain Khairi Zainuddin, Faisal Nasir, Farizal Rozali, Amirul Seman, Farouk Hashim, Zahid Ahmad, Zairi Hafiezi, Suvinart Shian, Arfan Rashid, Fazuan Abdullah, Fitri Jamaluddin and Dao Bakary were not paid their wages between July and November.

Some of the disheartened players have quit football and took up other jobs.

Goalkeeper Zahid, 26, said he has returned to Penang to become a paddy farmer like his father.

“I took up football because I wanted to provide for my family. But instead of providing for them, they are now assisting my pregnant wife and me financially,” said Zahid.

“After the end of last season, I returned to Penang to work with my father in the paddy field. Although I attended trials with other clubs, I was unsuccessful.”

“It was terrible in Perlis as I had to sell my personal things, including my mobile phone.

“I was also unable to pay my car loan for three months but luckily my friends helped me out.”

Zahid, a former Bukit Jalil Sports School student, started his professional career with Penang before moving to Kuala Lumpur and Perlis.

Defender Faizal, 28, has become a car salesman. He was giving out his name card to reporters at yesterday’s PFAM press conference in Kuala Lumpur, hoping someone would buy a car.

“I have a family and I need to support them. My dream was always to be a successful footballer but now I hate the game because of Perlis.

“PFA was bad paymaster throughout the season. We were never paid on-time. They often gave excuses for late payment.

Khairi said: “As captain, I feel responsible. Some had their cars repossessed while others could not settle their house rental. During Hari Raya, many had no cash with them.”

Khairi disclosed that the matter of unpaid wages was brought to PFA’s attention before the team played their last match of the season against Felda United on June 24.

Khairi claimed that the Perlis footballers were the lowest paid in the M-League with salaries ranging from RM3,000 to RM7,000 a month.

“I am disappointed with PFA and FAM for not taking immediate action. We were never paid on time by Perlis but we remained patient until the last match of the season.”

PFAM chief executive officer Izham Ismail said if the issue is not settled, it will be brought to the world body, Fifa.

“We had written to PFA twice but there was no response,” he said.

Perlis FA president Datuk Rozabil Abdul Rahman, who is also a FAM vice president, has promised to settle the unpaid wages, but he has yet to take any proactive action.

FAM players’ status committee chairman Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan did not reply to phone calls and messages from Timesport.

Tags: sports
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