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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

POSTPONEMENT OF MATCH A FIX?


KOTA KINABALU: The postponement of the Sabah-Police Premier League tie could have been a fix!

This is following a revelation by a national newspaper – Berita Harian – that no sign of repair works were being done at the match venue – the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium.

This prompted the Sabah FA Secretary General Alfred Lojiton to call on the FA of Malaysia to thoroughly look into the matter.

“It would be a wise thing to do for the FAM to find out the truth behind all this. If it is true that there are no works being done then I see no reason why the match should have been postponed,” he said.

“If the report is true of course we are very upset because the match was postponed for no reason,” the Sabah FA Secretary General said when contacted yesterday.

“And furthermore it is not good for the league itself when a particular team receives different treatment from the other.

“If the FAM is to have double standards in their ruling or decisions, I don’t think it will do the sport any good.

“It is our humble call to ask the FAM to thoroughly look into the newspaper report because this cannot go on and affect the development of the league.

“At the same time, we would also be requesting our President Datuk Anifah Aman, who is one of the Vice Presidents (of the FAM) to bring the matter up to the FAM.

The match that was initially scheduled for March 23 at the MPS Stadium was postponed following a request by Police, who produced a letter from the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang to the FA of Malaysia stating that the venue would be under repair during the match day.

In the letter it stated that the stadium would be closed for some drainage works from March 21 to 25.

However a check by the said newspaper on Sunday found that no repair works were done and thus this gave an indication that some hanky panky is going on.

To make it really look like a fix, the FAM regulations clearly state that any request for postponement must be made 14 days before match day. Another factor to take into account is the mutual agreement between the two teams.

The said newspaper then went on to assume that the postponement was made on the request from the sponsor of the Police team who refused to play following the absence of one of its import players from Kenya – Benedict Changi, who flew home to play for his country’s Olympic squad.

The said newspaper also quoted FAM Secretary General Datuk Dr Seri Ibrahim Saad as saying that the postponement was made two days before match day as they had no choice following a letter from the MPS.

“We did not postpone the match on purpose. The Police team management informed us about the MPS plan to do some drainage works on the stadium.

“And because there was no stadium available around Klang Valley, we had no choice but to postpone the match,” he added.

For the record, the match has been rescheduled for May 7.

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