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Friday, December 09, 2011

SAPP VP: Don't mix politics with sports

Published on: Friday, December 09, 2011 (Daily Express)

Kundasang: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Vice President, Japiril Suhaimin appealed to the Sabah Football Association (Safa) not to mix politics with football. He claims that a football friendly match he was supposed to manage was snatched and given to the District Officer of Ranau just because he is a member of the party.

"Because of my interest towards the game I took up the offer to manage the friendly game. Following an experience in 1993, the time I was leading the Kowsec team," said Japiril, who is also SAPP Kundasang chairman.

"During that time I had organised a match with the Sabah team, although Kowsec lost 0-2," he added. He said he got the offer from his brother who had met Sabah head coach, Justin Ganai, who had verbally agreed to have a match with the Kundasang selection team in Ranau on Dec 10. Japiril later contacted Mafra manager, Jamian Abdul Manan, Kowsec's Kohadie Watiman and former State goalkeeper, Austin Orou to organise the game.

"On Dec 5 (Monday) I received a call from Austin informing me that the management of the friendly match had been given to the District Officer of Ranau, Jasni Rijab. "Upon receiving the news, I was told that Justin had informed the Sabah FA Secretary General, Alijus Sipil about the game."

"Alijus said that I could not manage the game because I am an SAPP member," he claimed. "I'm sure that half of the football fans in the State are supporters of the opposition party but continue to give their support to the State team because of their interest and love towards Sabah," he added.

Japiril also said that in 1993 he was an Umno member and the State manager was Datuk Jahid Jahim who was a PBS member. He urged that for the sake of football and sports in the State that politics and sports should not be mixed.
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