14 October 2018, a date those with close affection for Perlis football will want to redo. A date that saw much hope and promise when Ahmad Amizal Shaifit Ahmad Shafie was elected as the new president of the Perlis Football Association (PFA). Fast forward just four months later and the roof have crumbled down on the association.
In an announcement made on 20 February 2019, Malaysian Football League (MFL) decided that enough is enough and Perlis will have their participation in the 2019 Malaysia Premier League season revoked. It is a sorry state of affairs that led to this decision but one which has a long and sustained history in Malaysian football - the inability to pay.
"After a thorough review of the financial documents submitted by Perlis Football Association (PFA) on Monday (18 February 2019), the board of directors of MFL have decided to revoked Perlis' participation because it was found that their sponsorship income does not match their financial planning to manage the team in the Malaysian League this season."
"However with the revoking of Perlis' participation in the Premier League, we are also understanding of the plight of the players and thus the board have also agreed to extend the player registration for these Perlis players for another 30 days," said the statement released by MFL.
For far too long the disease has plagued the professional game in football and just when one thought that the for once a clean slate can start, the same problem rears its ugly head once again. The new management of Perlis promised the stars and the moon, bringing in big names to reignite the interest in the team and created a big fanfare over everything that they do.
The higher they climb, the faster and hard the fall is.
And the ball has come down really strong on Perlis and Amizal in particular. In taking over the management, he not only have to bear the responsibility of the wages of the new players and staff but also the arrears from players of seasons past.
The likes of Safee Sali, Khyril Muhymeen, Amiridzwan Taj and Shahril Saari are now experiencing the after effects of falling for the charm and promises of the supposedly 'new Perlis'. They have yet to be paid any of their salaries despite being employed since December of 2018.
The waiting time for Amizal's management to pay up is now well and truly over and and the filters have now been removed. MFL's decision to revoke their participation is not the solution but rather a mere pausing of the problems to ensure no further escalation.
It was their decision to allow Perlis to move up into the Premier League in the first place and what has changed when the decision was made in December 2018 compared to now, is anyone's guess. The possibility of sponsors pulling out is there but the turnaround in a matter of months remains an incredible development.
The Kelantan-Perlis match scheduled for this weekend is now postponed. MFL still have to decide on whether Perlis' first two matches will be wiped from the records or otherwise remains a mystery. After the Kuantan FA episode last season, things were supposed to better but it isn't.
How long more is Malaysian football continue be blighted with the same problems?
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