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Malaysian Futsal will take its next major step this year, this time through professionalisation with the league scheduled to kick off in April.
The Malaysian FA (FAM) announced the teams that will take part in its inaugural professional futsal club competition. According to an announcement by the association, the 2019 Malaysian Professional Futsal season will see the participation of 10 teams in its men’s competition, and 6 sides for the women’s edition.
The men’s competition will be contested by Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu and invitational side KL City FC.
The six women’s teams are Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Perak, Perlis dan Selangor.
The competition will be held in a round-robin format, with every side playing each other twice, at home and away, between April and October this year. After all the matches have been played, the team at the top of the respective table will be declared as competition winners. According to FAM, each side will be required to register between 14 to 25 players, with the stipulation that they are Malaysian citizens, and that five of them are 20-years old or younger. However, before the league has even kicked off there has already been controversy, the Malaymail reporting that just after the Perlis football team found itself in the spotlight for their salary woes, now it is the futsal team which has come out with the same predicament. Perlis futsal head coach Qusmaini Noor Rusli revealed that all 25 players and seven officials have not received any wages since signing their contracts with the Perlis Football Association (PFA) either in December 2018 or January 2019. The total amount owed to the 32 staff is about RM194, 800.
“We got a similar impact to the football team. Since the team was announced and we began training in January, we have not received any payments.
“So we decided to stop the training sessions last week and asked for our rights as stated in the contracts signed,” he said at a press conference attended by their lawyer, Mohamad Saiful Dzulhelmi Zulkifli.
Qusmaini said the Perlis futsal squad was asked to leave the team’s accommodation on February 22 while his last communication with PFA president Datuk Ahmad Amizal Shaifit Ahmad Rafie was on February 20.
The squad decided to make their plight public following their disappointment over the “sweet promises” made by the association as well as its failure to register the team for the Professional Futsal League.
Meanwhile, Mohamad Saiful Dzulhelmi said legal action would be taken against PFA and its president over the salary arrears as well as losses incurred to the players and staff while they were bound to the contract.
“After looking at the contracts, we will find a way to verify the status of the contracts they have signed. They did not receive a copy of the contract signed by the association. Some had signed a contract for a year and there are also who signed two-year contracts,” he said.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) previously confirmed that 16 teams would be taking part in the 2019 Malaysian Professional Futsal (MPF) competition which will take place from April to October. All these revelations ignited a debate on the Futsal Japan Group on Facebook, one member believed the professional development was too much of a leap, to jump straight into attempting a professional league without even first having any sort of official association organized State/National amateur league/s. Another member was surprised that Perlis had been allowed back into the Malaysian Football League Second Division due to these payment issues plus being allowed to sign 9 of the Malaysian National Futsal team for their Futsal team.
Looking ahead to this season, for world-renowned Futsal star Rico Zulkarnain, Pahang who is the old Kuantan Rangers team who played in Malaysia’s LFK last season, are the team to watch!!
The main picture was sourced from the Football Association of Malaysia’s website.
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