PKNS still in limbo, while ATM could stay in the second tier

Registration for the 2017 Malaysia Super League (MSL) closed on Wednesday, but the Football Association of Selangor (FAS) has still not endorsed PKNS’s top-flight participation for next season.

There were signs of the issues getting sorted, however, after Selangor supported the club’s plea for extended time to get paperwork in order.

Following their initial decision not to support PKNS’ participation in the MSL, Selangor are appearing to be softening their stance, but not until showdown talks with FAS president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who is also the chairman of PKNS.

READ ALSO: FMLLP powerless in aiding PKNS attain top-flight status

Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) chief executive Kevin Ramalingam confirmed PKNS have seven days to get Selangor’s support under archaic football laws that are threatening to bring the game into disrepute.

PKNS wrote to us, this time with a letter through their parent affiliate FAS, asking for an extension to the deadline

- Kevin Ramalingam

“PKNS wrote to us, this time with a letter through their parent affiliate FAS, asking for an extension to the deadline,” Ramalingam said.

“We have given them seven days to get the paperwork done. We are encouraged by the fact that FAS also supported PKNS’ request and allowed the extension for sporting reasons.”

PKNS had earlier confirmed their participation via a letter directly to FMLLP, something FAS are insisting contradicts old football regulations. PKNS earned promotion after a second-place finish in the Malaysia Premier League (MPL) this year.

In a statement on Tuesday, FAS confirmed receiving a request for an endorsement letter but want to clear the air with Azmin.

PKNS is an arm of the Selangor State Government that Azmin leads.

“We need to know the thoughts of Azmin and get the true picture about plans and direction of FAS because Amirudin Shari has spoken of combining Selangor and PKNS,” read the statement signed by FAS general-secretary Rosman Ibrahim.

Amirudin, who was Selangor team manager last year, is the state councillor for sports.

An internal squabble at Selangor has seen him play a reduced role for Selangor’s 2017 preparation. The state government even stopped funding – an ongoing practice for years – for the coming season.

Meanwhile, FMLLP will decide who replaces DRB-Hicom in the MPL next season.

DRB have withdrawn themselves from Malaysian football due to financial reasons. Third-tier side Air Asia was previously rumoured of wanting to buy the club to parachute themselves into the second division but the move did not eventuate.

Going by precedent set last year, 11th-placed ATM will remain in the MPL despite finishing in the relegation zone.

There was also a vacant spot last year after the departure of Singaporean side LionsXII. The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) decided for a playoff for the empty slot in the MSL and allowed 11th-place Kuala Lumpur to stay in the MPL.

Photo: PKNS FC