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Kelantan have not had a proper pitch to train on, vents Fajr following 4-0 hammering

09:47 SAST 2018/06/02
Fajer Ibrahim, Kelantan
Kelantan head coach Fajr Ibrahim was not surprised by his charges' 4-0 drubbing by Selangor in their round 13 Malaysia Super League match.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Kelantan fell to their fourth straight defeat, following their 4-0 hammering by Selangor in their round 13 Malaysia Super League match on Friday.

Although Fajr's men held on well in the first 30 minutes of the match that was held at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium, they could not avoid conceding three goals in the space of seven minutes (Rufino Segovia 31', 36' and Evan Dimas Darmono 38') before halftime. Rufino then completed his hat-trick with his 82nd minute goal.

Goals in the Selangor vs Kelantan match

Speaking to the press after the match, the Red Warriors head coach Fajr Ibrahim however said he was not surprised by the result, saying that his charges' preparations have been hampered since the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan began.

"It (Kelantan's performance) is normal. We don't have a pitch to train on, we couldn't work on our tactics and movements, and the players don't have spirit. We haven't had a training pitch throughout Ramadan. We only had a small patch of grass, 25 by 25 meters, to train on. So the performance tonight is normal.

"Apparently there's a rule in Kota Bharu (the capital city of the state of Kelantan, where the club is based in) that no football can be played during Ramadan and I have to respect that. 

"Let me tell you a story; during our last training before tonight's match, on Wednesday, we were barred from using a pitch in Ketereh because two village football teams were going to play on it. Two village teams need to use it, while Kelantan, a Super League club could not train there.

"I've been coaching for twelve years, I took the Syria national team to the Asian Cup, as well as the third round of the World Cup qualifiers, and this is the first time I've experienced something like this; a top-tier club without a pitch to train on. Not many people know about this," explained the Syrian.

Fajr however declined to criticise club president Bibi Ramjani Ilias Khan, who according to him has been doing her best to help the team.

"Only the president has been working (for the team). She tries and she helps, but... I can't say more. I don't want to say anything about the board," he remarked.

With the defeat, the Red Warriors have dropped down one spot to last place in twelfth.