‘All-innocent’ Kelantan worryingly have seven cases awaiting FIFA decision

In what appears to be a blatant disregard to the rights of the players, Kelantan have a long list of unpaid salaries and compensation claims. FourFourTwo discovers that the Red Warriors have as many as seven cases that are pending an outcome by world governing body FIFA.

Treble winners in 2012 – just five years ago – things are falling apart (if not already) in Kota Bahru.

Debts are mounting and the East Coast side don’t seem to have a solution in sight, but rather intriguingly, the Red Warriors are adamant they should operate as usual, without transfer sanctions and points deduction already imposed by Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP).

Instead Kelantan Football Association (KAFA) advisor Tan Sri Annuar Musa has engaged in rants, accusations and arguments, all on Facebook but never through the proper channels to settle their woes.

Instead Kelantan Football Association (KAFA) advisor Tan Sri Annuar Musa has engaged in rants, accusations and arguments, all on Facebook but never through the proper channels to settle their woes

Domestically, things were always ‘under control’ in the past but the new Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) administration spearheaded by Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim have been more firm in their approach, something much needed in Malaysian football to lift standards and professionalism. The Malaysia Super League (MSL) have been attracting all sorts of bad publicity both in and out of the country, and that doesn’t augur well for uplifting Malaysia’s image.

World players’ representative FIFPro even went on to label Malaysia as among the worst offenders of unpaid salaries and compensation. How long will take before foreign players reject moves to Malaysia for fears of not getting what is duly theirs?

FourFourTwo understands FIFA are also hot on Kelantan’s heels and things could become unsavoury as a trend appears to be setting in.

“Seven of Kelantan’s former imports have taken their grouses to FIFA. These cases are dating back to a couple of years and doesn’t give the right impression for Malaysian football,” an insider in the national body told FourFourTwo.

Annuar Musa has cut a controversial figure

“It’s not just salaries that are long overdue. Kelantan owe the Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) and income tax about RM3.5 million too.”

Those that a seeking a resolution from FIFA are Wander Luiz, Jonatan Lucca, Baze Ilijoski, Jonathan McKain, Dramane Traore, Emmanuel Kenmogne and fitness coach Sebastian Knapic.

There are also cases being heard by the FAM Status Committee. Two were discussed as recent as Thursday while a third pertaining Nik Shahrul Azim’s claim was dropped at the eleventh hour.

Kelantan have had more than 10 similar cases since 2014 – including the likes of Amiridzwan Taj Tajudin, Obinna Nwaneri, Nazri Ahmad, Amar Rohidan, Ahmad Fakri Saarani and Fitri Omar.

Kelantan have had more than 10 similar cases since 2014 – including the likes of Amiridzwan Taj Tajudin, Obinna Nwaneri, Nazri Ahmad, Amar Rohidan, Ahmad Fakri Saarani and Fitri Omar

In an effort to curb things once and for all, FMLLP handed Kelantan and three other teams a six-point deduction from their league campaign and a conditional transfer ban after the clubs ignored three reminders to submit documents acknowledging payment of salaries, EPF, income tax and insurance of previous seasons.

Kelantan, who never appealed the sentence, have been crying foul through Annuar’s Facebook account, but FMLLP have thankfully stuck to their guns and served another reminder that failure to submit documents by the final day of the season would result in demotion to the Malaysia Premier League (MPL).

Further dissent may even terminate Kelantan’s participation for 2018 but that could turn out into a catch-22 situation as shutting down operations may result in the aggrieved players not receiving their money altogether.

Yet such an outcome would prevent future occurences as going by past practices, Kelantan don’t seem to be making much effort in cutting costs and are only incurring more debt by knee-jerk transfer moves involving imports in every transfer window.

Photos: Asiana.my