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Friday, September 28, 2007

'Commitment and dedication'

Kota Kinabalu: Personal commitment and dedication towards the development of football in Sabah should be the criteria for any aspiring candidate eyeing the post of president of Sabah Football Association (Safa).

And above all he must have sound capability on how to source for funds to finance Safa's activities especially when Sabah takes part in the Premier League and Malaysia Cup competitions. This is the view of a Safa zone manager who spoke to Daily Express Monday.

The manager, who refused to reveal his identity, said his view is shared by a majority of the zones and in his opinion this very important criteria should be the basis for selecting the next president.

"We are in discussions over the matter as a preparation for who will be the most reliable and best person to replace current president Datuk Anifah Aman," he said

Anifah is expected to relinquish his post as Safa president after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi issued a directive barring ministers and their deputies from holding posts in sports bodies.

Meanwhile, several former State players including Safa West Coast zone manager Juil Nautin suggested former team manager Hj. Osman Jamal should be the next president.

"He possesses a high leadership quality and is well known for his warm attitude especially amongst the players when he was the team manager," said Juil adding that Osman also had the capability to secure funding which is crucial to the team.

Osman is currently the director at the Lands and Surveys Department, Sabah.

He added that funding, especially to the team taking part in next year's Premier League and Malaysia Cup, will be the main concern and without sufficient funds the team's performance would be adversely affected.

Juil cited for example, that at one time Safa was facing financial problems resulting in players' salaries being owed for months. However, with determination and expertise and coupled with the never-say-die attitude of Anifah, he managed to salvage the financial problem and as a result Safa were able to pay the players' salaries promptly.

It is told that Safa needs at least RM5.5 million a year to finance its activities such as salaries for local and import players, travelling expenses and administrative costs.

Meanwhile, Safa executive secretary Harry Baking when contacted said that Anifah is expected to chair a committee meeting sometime in November and is expected to make an announcement in relation to his presidency post. Anifah has been Safa president since 1995, and since becoming president Anifah had registered himself as a most dynamic leader making Sabah one of the most feared teams in the country.

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