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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Minor setback for Rhinos

KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos suffered a minor setback as they may be forced out from their hunting ground, the Likas Stadium, for their Malaysia Cup quarter-finals return leg clash against Negeri Sembilan NAZA on Wednesday.

The Sabah FA Executive Secretary Harry Baking said that there is a big possibility of the Rhinos switching their home venue (for the game) to the newly completed Tawau Sports Complex field.

Harry is currently with an official from the FA of Malaysia inspecting the Tawau Sports Complex. He hinted that while there may not be any major problems with certain aspects of the spanking new complex, including security.

What FAM wants to know is whether the floodlights are adequate to hold the match. At press time, nothing was finalised, as the FAM official was to check on the floodlights (last night).

If Tawau fail to get the green light, then the Sabah FA’s next likely destination is Labuan.

Harry went on to say that the reason in looking for a new venue is because it is too costly for them to stage the match at the Likas Stadium after the switch box (electricity box) was damaged.

“We were made to understand that the switch box was damaged sometime in June. However, the Sports Board is still waiting for the compensation from an insurance company.

“Until the switch box is repaired, it is too expensive for us to hold matches there.

“This is because without the switch box, there will be no electricity supply, so if we want to play there, we have to use the generators. And to do that it will cost us between RM18, 000 to RM20, 000. This is because they will have to use the generator sets for like three days,” he added.

But if both Tawau and Labuan does not satisfy FAM’s requirements, then there is nothing the FA can do but to fork out RM20, 000.

Harry said that while the cost to bring the squad to Tawau or stage the game in Tawau or Labuan will be around the RM20, 000, they believe that they will get good support from the fans there.

“Meaning to say, if the response we receive is good here, which we are positive, it will at least help us compliment our cost.

“Furthermore, this would also be an opportunity for the Rhinos fans outside the State capital to witness their beloved team in action,” said Harry.

Sabah is currently trailing 1-0 following their defeat (1-0) in the first leg last week.

If they can overcome the deficit, they will march into the semi-final where either Perak or Perlis are their possible opponent.

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