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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Azraai Khor: I wasn't even given a contract to sign at Sabah

A few months after the acrimonious end to his brief stint at Sabah, head coach Azraai Khor has revealed that he had not even been handed a contract to sign at the Borneo side. Speaking at a Malaysian football forum that was also attended by Malaysian FA deputy president Afandi Hamzah and Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) CEO Kevin Ramalingam in Bukit Jalil on Saturday, Azraai revealed the reason for calling the Sabah FA deputy president Datuk Lawrence Gimbang "the joke of the century" when he was asked to sign a termination contract when he was terminated. Claiming that he had neglected to sign a contract because of the busy pre-season preparations with the Rhinos, Azraai let on that problems surfaced when he was made to go through a middle man when he needed to get in touch with team chairman, Musa Aman.

 "Before I went there, I was given the assurance that "nobody in the FA would (interfere with) you", (if) anything you communicate directly to the chief minister (and team chairman) Musa Aman," Azraai shared. However when he got there, he was made to communicate through an intermediary instead.

 "There was this middle man, a Chinese man from Singapore, running his business or a proxy or something like that," he continued. The proxy told Azraai that they would only sign free agent foreign players from a Singaporean club which the man is familiar with, which Azraai disagreed with. Azraai decided then that was the last straw.

 "If that is the case, thank you very much, take back your team," revealed the treble winning coach. He was then asked by Lawrence to come sign his termination, and he responded critically to Lawrence; "I said Datuk, you have been involved in football for a very, very long time and I know you, you're the joke of a century actually."

 "I've been here over a month without being given a contract to sign, how can you tell me to come sign a termination clause (contract)?" he questioned. He then told the Sabah FA: "I'm flying back. Give me a few days to pack all my things, buy me the ticket." The former Kedah and Negeri Sembilan head coach also told the audience that the officials at the Sabah FA also practised favouritism and tribalism, favouring potential players from their own village or tribe and sabotaging those who are not, despite the eagerness of Sabahan youths to play for the state team.

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