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FAM hits back at 'irresponsible' PFAM over RM6.4m statement

07:59 IST 05/08/2019
Malaysian FA headquarters, 07062017
The Malaysian FA has threatened to reconsider the players union's place at the discussion table, for issuing a scathing public statement on Sunday.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

The Malaysian FA (FAM) has hit back at the statement issued by the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM), with the former labelling the latter's earlier action as irresponsible.

On Sunday, PFAM chief executive officer Izham Ismail issued an official statement claiming that Malaysian clubs currently owe a total of RM6.4 million in unpaid wages to players in cases that have been reported to the organisation.

According to Izhar, these cases do not only involve smaller clubs that have gone under, but also established state sides such as Melaka United, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang. The statement also criticised FAM and Malaysian competition organiser Malaysian Football League's (MFL) ability to carry out their recently-announced long-term plans for professional football in the country.

On Monday, FAM issued its response through its secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam, which criticised the players' union for allegedly making untruthful claims.

"Not all the teams mentioned [in PFAM's statement] have neglected to settle the arrears, and such a public statement is unprofessional and will not solve any problems.

"FAM's records show that Negeri Sembilan have no pending cases with both FAM and FIFA.

"Pahang have no pending unpaid salary case with FAM, only one with FIFA that has already been settled.

"Melaka have three cases that await decision, one with FAM and two with FIFA, while an earlier FIFA case has been settled.

"Perlis and Kelantan meanwhile are under new managements, who are trying to steady their finances and are definitely not neglecting to settle their arrears," wrote Stuart.

FAM has also called out the players' union for airing their grievance in public despite their role as one of Malaysian football stakeholders, and ominously threatened to reconsider PFAM's place at the discussion table in the future.

"FAM is unable to ascertain the RM6.4 million figure stated by PFAM, as the organisation has not informed us of the payments made to the players by the clubs.

"Such a statement will not help resolve the situation. Instead it will only make things worse for teams that have no outstanding case, or those who are proactively trying to settle their arrears.

"Although we admire PFAM's efforts in looking after its members, we as the main body of football in the country will not hesitate to reevaluate our partnership with PFAM if the efforts of the teams, state FAs and FAM are not taken positively by the players' union.

"As one of Malaysian football stakeholders, PFAM should refrain from questioning F:30 (FAM's long-term plan) and Next50 (MFL's long-term blueprint), as it needs to be involved in them wholly, instead of taking actions that only favour it. PFAM now seems to be carrying out a hidden agenda." 

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