PKNS get endorsement but new affiliation up for scrutiny

Promoted Malaysia Super League (MSL) side PKNS have been accepted as a member of the Selangor Malays Football Association, but the legitimacy of their departure from Football Association of Selangor (FAS) will be looked at by Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)...

FAM will meet next week to confirm the legitimacy of PKNS’ affiliation with Selangor Malays after the latter accepted the 2016 Malaysia Premier League runners-up into their ranks and endorsed the club’s participation in the MSL next year.

FAS, who are caught in a conflict of their own, were threatening to bring the game into disrepute by using outdated football regulations which require all clubs to get approval from their parent affiliates in order to compete in the national leagues.

“I was informed that Selangor Malays will send in their support letter today (Wednesday). The Legal and Regulations committee chaired by Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah will have to look into the matter,” said FAM general-secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin.

“There are procedures to follow and it is best the committee decides the legitimacy. The three parties involved – FAS, PKNS and Selangor Malays – will be called in to discuss the matter too.”

Hamidin felt the matter could be resolved as early as next week. The committee is expected to look at whether PKNS’ withdrawal from FAS was done accordingly. Clubs are not allowed to be affiliated to two associations.

PKNS were given an extension to the 2017 MSL participation registration deadline after failing to obtain an endorsement in time. The Red Ants had initially confirmed their participation directly to Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP), the league’s guardian, but FAS sent a letter to object their participation.

FMLLP have given PKNS an extension until Friday to get an endorsement, but FAS were holding out until showdown talks with its president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali over the future of Selangor and PKNS in the MSL.

PKNS’ readiness to leave FAS could be considered a big blow as the Kelana Jaya-based club are well-known for their development programmes and have supplied numerous players to Selangor for years.

“We need the endorsement by Friday. Then it is for us to verify with FAM the validity of the new affiliation,” said FMLLP chief executive officer Kevin Ramalingam.

Azmin, who is chairman of state government-arm PKNS by virtue of being Selangor Menteri Besar, has kept mum over the matter. An internal conflict dating to the resignation of FAS general-secretary Rosman Ibrahim and Treasurer Datuk S. Sivasundram has led to a split in the association and the Azmin-led state government has pulled the plug on funds.

Rosman, who returned to work a couple of months after the ‘resignation’, could not be contacted for comments.

Main Photo: PKNS