Kelantan FC crest, 2020Kelantan FC

A bright 2021 start for Kelantan thanks to wage reduction agreement and lifting of transfer ban

Malaysia Premier League side Kelantan FC can now breath easier thanks to a recent FIFA decision.

The Red Warriors announced that the world football governing body has lifted a player signing ban it had imposed on the club early last year, for the failure to settle a former player's wage.

The club published a letter it received from FIFA's player status department, informing them that a player signing ban they had received has been lifted, after Kelantan were proven to have paid their arrears to forward, Cassio de Jesus.

"Kelantan FC are now free from any player transfer bans, and are now able to register new players for the 2021 season. Insyaallah Kelantan will be ready to compete," stated the club in the post.

FIFA had in early 2020 slapped Kelantan with a two-transfer window player signing ban for failing to fully pay De Jesus' wages, a responsibility that then fell to entreprenuer Norizam Tukiman when he purchased the club from the Kelantan FA.

Apart from the lifting of the ban, the East Coast West Malaysian side also managed to further reduce its arrears, by successfully persuading a number of their 2020 squad members to reduce their November 2020 wage by 50 per cent.

They played only one match in the month, a 3-2 defeat to UiTM FC in the final sixteen round of the Malaysia Cup that knocked them out of the competition. Even if they had won the encounter, they would not be playing in any more matches because the cup would end up getting cancelled after the final sixteen round matches were played due to rising Covid-19 cases in the country.

The Malaysian club that have picked up an unwanted reputation as a poor paymaster in the last half decade can now fully concentrate their attention on rebuilding and returning to the top tier under Norizam's ownership.

In the past week, they announced that they will lease Koperasi Gemilang Tani's pitch as their training ground, and repair work is underway. In the meantime, they are looking to promote their best youth players to the first team.