Kelantan may ‘unsettle’ FIFA again over unsettled wages

Premier League outfit Kelantan are likely to face sanction again from world football’s governing body FIFA – this time over unpaid wages to players.

The East Coast side are one of the few M-League teams, including Super League side Melaka and Police, who have assured the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) that they would settle their arrears before the 2020 season starts on Feb 28.

But it is learnt that several former imports had lodged complaints to FIFA over the Kelantan Football Association (Kafa)’s failure to pay up and their team are now in danger of being docked points.

The Red Warriors were docked three points by FIFA last April after they failed to settle arrears owed to former technical director Alfredo Gonzalez within the time frame set by the FIFA disciplinary committee. FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam said Kelantan’s old cases could be the issue.

“Most of the M-League teams are able to settle their salary arrears before the season begins. The amount is manageable but the problem is that some of the teams still owed players from several seasons ago, ” said Stuart.

“Kelantan’s former local players like Daudsu Jamaluddin and Khairul Fahmi Che Mat have agreed to receive their arrears in stages but there are some who are insisting on a lump sum payment. We can only hope the players and Kafa can reach an agreement.”

Kelantan are not the first M-League team to suffer a sanction from the world body.

Last year, Penang were docked six points by FIFA for failing to settle former Brazilian defender Reinaldo Lobo’s wages within the stipulated deadline.

In 2015, Pahang were docked six points on the orders of FIFA, after their former Moroccan striker Mohamed Borji complained that he had not received his wages on time when he played for Pahang in 2013.

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