New Straits Times

No turning back


FIRM: Annuar sticks with quit decision but will help bail Kelantan out

FACED with constant criticism after a season which delivered nothing, Tan Sri Annuar Musa is adamant in quitting as president of Kelantan FA (Kafa) but not without first clearing the associatio­n’s debts.

Annuar also fired a broadside to his critics, challengin­g them to take over his post if they think they know better, but vowed not to leave Kafa in a lurch.

Kafa have fallen behind in paying salaries to their players while their main sponsor is in trouble with the law and seeking to alter their financial obligation­s.

This has left Kafa in a precarious financial position with the deadline to post a RM3 million bond to ensure their participat­ion in next season’s Super League fast approachin­g.

“There are things which we reached a decision on today,” said Annuar, who tendered his resignatio­n two weeks ago, after meeting with Kafa executive committee members in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“Firstly, my decision to step down as president will not change so that someone more capable can take over and lead Kelantan football to greater heights.

“Secondly, I will ensure Kelantan will meet the deadline to register for the M-League and my companies will raise the RM3 million bond to play in the Super League next year.

“Lastly, I will raise RM500,000 to ensure the players are paid their salaries within five days.”

Annuar cited the growing financial pressures to ensure Kelantan remain competitiv­e in the M-League as the main reason for stepping down.

“When we won the treble (in 2012) a budget of RM6 million to RM7 million was enough but now you need not just RM3 million for the bond but also RM2 million up front to sign four foreign players and a coach,” said Annuar.

“We can no longer compete against teams with deep pockets like Kedah and Selangor, who get substantia­l help from their state government­s.

“So I have decided to withdraw though I will still help Kelantan football in a private capacity. A lot of people have commented on social media how the team should be run so I’m giving them a chance to come forward and take over as president.

“Since they have so many bright ideas, why not come and share it with Kafa and show us the way forward.”

Kafa deputy president Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah said the exco, while disappoint­ed, agreed to respect Annuar’s decision.

“We will hold elections if needed to replace the entire exco,” said Afandi. “If there is anybody who is capable of taking over as president, we are ready to discuss it them.

“For now, our priority is to ensure that Kelantan meet the M-League registrati­on deadline to ensure we are there next year. Only then can we start talking about hiring a coach and new players.”

Afandi also said a meeting will be scheduled soon with their main sponsor Vida Beauty Sdn Bhd, who have asked for a change in terms of their sponsorshi­p obligation­s.

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